Telcos threaten to withdraw USSD services over N80bn debt owed by banks
Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has threatened to stop the use of unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) following debts owed by banks which rose to N80billion in November.
The chairman of ATCON, Gbenga Adebayo speaking in an interview with ThisDay, said the banks’ refusal to pay the debt will have negative consequence on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless economy agenda for the country.
He said: “The debt is rising and has not been paid by the banks. As of November 2022, the accumulated debt rose to over N80 billion. When we started the argument in 2019, it was N32 billion, and they continue to claim that they are not owing, but our investigation shows that they are still using the USSD platform to offer banking services to their customers, yet they are not remitting to telecom operators who own the USSD platform.
“Time will soon come when we will be constrained to withdraw the service and many bank customers that depend on the USSD service will suffer for it and it will affect the economy. It is hounorable to pay their debts and they have to pay.
“We are warning that the banks’ action in refusing to pay their debt, will have negative consequence on the CBN’s cashless economy agenda for the country. It will be a threat to cashless economy. So, CBN should advise money deposit banks to pay up the accumulated debts.”