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USSD charges: Pantami orders immediate investigation of network operators

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has ordered the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to investigate network operators in the country  for breaching the directive to suspend the planned USSD access charge on banking services.

TheNewsGuru (TNG) reports Pantami had directed the mobile network operators suspend the planned Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) access charge on banking services; but the Minister has been inundated with allegations of deductions by some of the operators before the directive was issued and those who continue to engage in it.

According to a statement signed by Uwa Suleiman (Mrs), Spokesperson to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, it is in view of this, the Minister is directing the sector regulator to with immediate effect, investigate these allegations and where found to be true, sanction defaulters for breaching the directive in accordance with the law.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has been drawn to the activities of some Mobile Network Operators who, in spite of the earlier directive suspending the planned Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) access charge on banking services, have continued the illegal deduction from subscribers.

“The Minister has been inundated with allegations of deductions by some Mobile Network Operators before the directive was issued and those who continue to engage in it. In view of this, the Honourable Minister hereby directs the sector regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to with immediate effect, investigate these allegations and where found to be true, sanction defaulters for breaching the directive in accordance with the law.

“This also serves as a notice to the general public that anyone in possession of evidence of charges after the Honourable Minister’s directive had taken effect, should forward same to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for further action.

“This procedure should be given utmost priority, as the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the watch of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, will not condone any form of indiscipline and injustice.

“It will be recalled that the Honourable Minister had, in an earlier directive suspended the planned access service charge of N4:00 per 20 seconds by telecoms operators in the country”.

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