Cancellation Of Ussd Charges By Ncc
What is USSD
USSD means Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and is a service which allows you to pay your bills and do other transactions by simply dialing a short code on your phone, USSD codes are also called Quick Codes.
Efficiency of Charging via USSD.
The Pay via USSD channel allows customers to make payments or carry out transfers and other banking transactions by dialing a USSD code on their mobile device. This code is usually in the form of * followed by some code and ending with #. The user is prompted to authenticate the transaction with a PIN and then it is confirmed by the bank. For a better understanding you can read our article on REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR CREATING USSD CODE TO EASE CUSTOMER PAYMENTS USSD Charges
The charge is for the USSD session performed on your account. For every session on the USSD platform, you will be charged N4 which accumulates and is passed into your account at the end of the month or paid immediately from the airtime available on your mobile device.
SUSPENSION OF CHARGES BY NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
During the early hours of the afternoon on Sunday, the Federal Government (through the Minister of Communication) issued a directive to the Nigeria Communications Commission to immediately suspend USSD charges on banking transactions. This was in response to a circular sent out by one of the Nigerian telecommunications network providers; MTN to its customers informing them of a scheduled increase in USSD charges to take effect from October,2019.
This was done in a bid to keep their customers involved and avoid any surprises or sudden charges which were to begin on Monday, October 21st, 2019.
The reason for the suspension according to the spokesperson of the Minister for Communication was that the Minister was not properly briefed on the development neither was this approved.
CAN NCC ORDER FOR THIS SUSPENSION
The Nigerian Communications Commission is the independent National Regulatory Authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. The Commission is responsible for creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the telecoms industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country. The Commission is driven by three guiding principles; Fair, Firm and Forthright in carrying out its duties and functions as the National Telecommunications Regulator.
The NCC is one of the agencies that was created under the Federal Ministry of Communications. This entails that all activities from the agency report directly to the overseer being the Ministry. The Federal Minister for Communication can within the powers vested on his office order such suspension.
Majority of the sectors in Nigeria suffer this same bout of creating policies without due process, the telecommunications sector however has been subject to tight scrutiny and oversight over the years. The monitoring of these policies is to protect consumers and guard against arbitrary and unreasonable charges from ministries, departments and and agencies of government. An effective due process mechanism serves as an antidote for fraudulent practices in the economy.