Telcos get NCC’s approval to disconnect banks over N120 billion USSD debt
The major mobile telecommunications companies in Nigeria, including MTN, Glo, Airtel, and 9mobile, have been granted approval by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to disconnect Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country. The reason for the disconnection is the DMBs’ failure to pay their outstanding debt of over N120 billion owed to the operators for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services. In a statement issued by the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the telecom operators stated that they will disconnect the banks any moment from now if they fail to pay, as approved by the regulator. Despite efforts by multiple parties, including the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, the NCC, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the telecom and banking sectors, the banks have not cooperated over the payment of the debt. ALTON added that the level of debt is unsustainable, and the telcos will continue to disconnect the banks until the debt is paid.