The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has fixed a new USSD charge of ₦7 on all USSD transactions. Nigerians are already raising their eyebrows as it seems like they’re being pressed on all sides.
CBN’s announcement comes only a few days after Nigerians learned of an imminent fuel price hike. Nigerians already fear the impact of the price hike on business and daily life considering the state of electric supply. Right now, this takes their fears to a whole new level.
According to CBN, the newly introduced tax on USSD transactions has taken effect already. The implication? users will be charged a flat rate of ₦6.98 per USSD transaction going forward.
This news was contained in a statement signed by CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate Coms, Osita Nwanisobi. The document was also signed by NCC’s Public Affairs Director, Ikechuckwu Adinde.
The decision was made as a result of a mutual agreement between banks and telecommunication operators after a long stretched disagreement.
As of Monday, March 15, telecommunication operators intended to disable USSD services used by banks to support remote banking transactions.
This was because commercial banks owed a debt of $42 billion to mobile operators on the account of USSD service support.
After deliberations on Monday, imposing the ₦7 tax on customers was deemed a suitable fix by all parties.
“We are pleased to announce that after comprehensive deliberations on the key issues, a resolution framework acceptable to all parties was agreed thus:
Effective March 16, 2021, USSD services for financial transactions conducted at Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and all CBN – licensed institutions will be charged at a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction.
This replaces the current per session billing structure ensuring a much cheaper average cost for customers to enhance financial inclusion.
This approach is transparent and will ensure the amount remains the same, regardless of the number of sessions per transaction.”
Attached is a copy of the full statement below;
As of midnight Tuesday, USSD had become one of the top 5 trending topics on Twitter with over 23.7k tweets on the topic. The majority of the tweets contained ill remarks from displeased citizens.
You didn't add Electricity bills that has turned to house rent
— Ray_shell🌠 (@Dame_RachelUkeh) March 16, 2021
23.18 million Nigerians are unemployed — NBS.
Inflation hits 17.33%, highest in 4 years.
CBN imposes N7 USSD transaction fee on Nigerians. Bank customers will now pay N7 for each USSD transaction.
Stats coming out from Nigeria everyday, will send the faint-hearted into coma.
— NEFERTITI (@firstladyship) March 16, 2021