MTN Nigeria has blocked its subscribers from recharging their mobile phones or buying data using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes.
This happened after the telecoms giant allegedly cut back on the commissions it pays out to banks and fintech on the sales of airtime and data.
In a statement to its partners, titled NOTIFICATION OF REVISED DISCOUNT STRUCTURE, made available to newsmen the telecommunication giant explained the reduction in discount with effect from 1st of April.
In the statement, MTN told its partners to “pacify customers and educate them to use MTNToplt, MoMo channels, as well as the debit card options on MOD or myMTN App.”
The statement read, “Dear Customer, Please be informed that you may not be able to purchase airtime, and data recharge via banks including MOD, and MyMTNApp.
The statement further read, “Please pacify My customers and educate them to use MTNTopit, MoMo channels, as well as the debit card options on MOD or myMTN App.”
According to one of the Telco’s partners, who prefers anonymity, alleged that the company singlehandedly decided to cut back on the commissions it pays out to banks and fintech on the sales of airtime and data without proper engagement.
She said, “I believe the way the process was handled is unfair and a dare to some of the partners. The Class C category, which has partners at the bottom of the pyramid was canceled and that takes effect from April 1, 2021.
“Aside from that, before slashing the commission, we expect the Telco to pay what they owe and not try to factor it into a new price regime so that customers will unknowingly pay for them. The fear is that if MTN succeeds, other telcos may follow the same path.”
However, efforts to reach MTN on the development were abortive, as a source in the Public Relations outfit that manages the brand disclosed that the Telco has not issued any statement in that regard.
Recall in three weeks ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced the introduction of new charges for customers using the USSD services.
The two regulatory agencies said that customers will pay a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction every time they use USSD services with effect from Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
The meeting between the CBN, NCC, deposit money banks, and mobile network operators (MNOs) over a protracted dispute concerning appropriate pricing for the USSD services has resulted in accumulated debt and a possible withdrawal of USSD services by MNOs.
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