On 12 March 2021, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) announced plans to withdraw all Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD) services from financial service providers (FSPs1) citing their indebtedness to Money Network Operators (MNOs) as the reason for the proposed withdrawal.
Following a meeting of key stakeholders, a resolution was reached between the representatives of ALTON, executives of FSPs, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) culminating in the Joint Statement on Pricing of USSD Services by the CBN and NCC (the Joint Statement).
The Joint Statement provides that from 16 March 2021, USSD services for financial transactions conducted at FSPs will be charged at a flat fee of NGN6.98k per transaction. The Joint Statement proposes that the fixed fee pricing model will ensure transparency between MNOs and FSPs in the collection of revenue generated from USSD services
and foster financial inclusion, from the perspective of customers, as the fixed price lowers the current average usage cost.