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CBN, NCC Approve New USSD Fee For Banks

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BREAKING: I'm Yet To Decide On Contesting For Presidency - Emefiele

A flat fee of N6.98 per transaction for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) banking service has been introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

It took effect from today March 16,2021. This replaces the current per session billing structure, which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said would ensure a much cheaper average cost for customers to enhance financial inclusion.

The CBN also said the new approach was transparent and would ensure the amount charged remained the same, regardless of the number of sessions per transaction .

The new fee is contained in a joint statement issued by the CBN and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the pricing of USSD services.

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have had protracted disagreements concerning the appropriate USSD pricing model for financial transactions.

This resulted in the accumulation of outstanding fees for USSD services rendered leading to potential service withdrawal by the MNOS.
USSD is a critical channel for delivering financial services, particularly for the underserved and/or financially excluded.

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To resolve the lingering dispute and ensure uninterrupted services to customers on this channel, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy on March 15, 2021 chaired a meeting of key stakeholders to discuss an amicable resolution in the interest of the general public.

Meanwhile, following a meeting of key stakeholders concerned in the matter, the impending suspension of USSD banking services has been lifted.

“Therefore, DMBS shall no longer be disconnected from the USSD channel,” a joint statement by CBN and NCC reads in part.

Represented at the meeting were the various MNOs, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), DMBS (represented by the Chairman, Body of Bank CEOs) and the sector regulators – Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NC).

The joint statement signed by Osita Nwanisobi, Ag Director Corporate Communications for CBN, and Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director Public Affairs for NCC reads:

“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 DMBS and all CBN – licensed institutions will be charged at a fiat 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.

READ ALSO: NCAA Suspends Azman Air’s Flights

“To promote transparency in its administration, the new USSD charges will be collected on behalf of MNOs directly from customers’ bank accounts. Banks shall not impose additional charges on customers for use of the USSD channel.

“A settlement plan for outstanding payments incurred for USSD services, previously rendered by the MNOs, is being worked out by all parties in a bid to ensure that the matter is fully resolved.

“MNOS and DMBS shall discuss and agree on the operational modalities for the implementation of the new USSD pricing framework, including sharing of Application Programme Interface (API) to enable seamless, direct and transparent customer billing.

“DMBs and MNOs are committed to engaging further on strategies to lower cost and enhance access to financial services.

“With the above resolutions, the impending suspension of DMBs from the USSD channel is hereby vacated. Therefore, DMBS shall no longer be disconnected from the USSD channel.”

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Debt Profile Under Buhari Worrisome – CBN

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Nigeria’s increasing debt profile under President Muhammadu Buhari is a source of worry to the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) .

This was disclosed in a communique by the CBN’s monetary policy committee  released on Wednesday.

“The committee noted the Federal Government’s increasing debt profile and expressed concerns over debt sustainability given that global uncertainties remain elevated”, the apex said.

The financial regulator urged the federal government to take on urgent measures to cope with debt burden.

READ ALSO: ASUU Strike May End Soon As Buhari Gives Education Minister Adamu Deadline

“The MPC thus reiterated its call to the Federal Government to urgently diversify its revenue sources through various initiatives, such as, the development of a viable tax framework for the extractive and mineral export industries, to strengthen its fiscal buffers.”

As at March 2022, Nigeria’s total public debt hit N41.60 trillion, according to the Debt Management Office.

The Buhari regime has often rebuffed concern about its acute borrowings, justifying that the funds are invested in capital projects with lasting impact.

 

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BREAKING: CBN Raises Interest Rate To 14% To Tame Rising Inflation

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BREAKING: CBN Raises Interest Rate To 14% To Tame Rising Inflation

As a measure to tame rising inflation, the policy-setting committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the monetary policy rate (MPR), which measures interest rate, from 13 percent to 14 percent.

The monetary policy rate (MPR) is the baseline interest rate in an economy, every other interest rate used within an economy is built on it.

READ ALSO: CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate To 13%

Addressing journalists on Tuesday after the committee’s meeting at the CBN headquarters in Abuja, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the apex bank, said the hike in interest rate would help tame rising inflation.

 

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Nigeria’s Inflation Rises Over 18 Per Cent

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Nigeria's Inflation Rises Over 18 Per Cent

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBC) has said that Nigeria’s inflation rate in the month of June 2022 increased to 18.60 percent on a year-on-year basis.

The recorded increase in June is 0.84 percent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2021, which is 17.75 percent.

This means that the headline inflation rate increased in the month of June 2022 when compared to the same month in the previous year (June 2021).

Increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yielded the Headline index.

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On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate increased to 1.82 percent in June 2022, this is 0.03 percent higher than the rate recorded in May 2022 (1.78 percent).

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve months period ending June 2022 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period is 16.54 percent, showing a 0.62 percent increase compared to 15.93 percent recorded in June 2021.

 

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