Following Nigerians reactions to the introduction of USSD charge by telecom companies, the Federal Ministry of Communications has ordered the companies to suspend the service charge. 

The telcos had on Sunday, October 20, 2019 notified their customers that they will be charged N4 per 20 seconds when they use USSD for banking services.

They also said that the service charge will start from Monday, October 21, 2019. 

This has, however, sparked reactions on social media as Nigerians shared the message they received from network providers.

Reacting to the development, the Federal Ministry of Communications, in a statement signed by Uwa Suleiman, spokesperson to the Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ibrahim Ali Pantami, said the minister is not aware of the service charge.

For Illustrative Purpose: Brace up: Telcom companies have said that you will be charged N12 for every minute you spend when you use a code like *101# to access banking services. (HowwemadeitinAfria)
For Illustrative Purpose: Brace up: Telcom companies have said that you will be charged N12 for every minute you spend when you use a code like *101# to access banking services. (HowwemadeitinAfria)

The minister further directed the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to ensure that telcom operators suspend the plans until the Minister of Communications is properly briefed.

The statement reads, "The attention of the Federal Ministry of Communications has been drawn to the viral text message allegedly sent by the Mobile Network Operator MTN Nigeria and other Mobile Operators notifying subscribers of a four naira (N4:00) charge per 20 seconds on USSD access to banking services from the 21st of October 2019.

"The office of the Honourable Minister of Communications Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM is unaware of this development and has hereby directed the sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) ensures the operator suspends such plans until the Honourable Minister is fully and properly briefed."

Nigerians have, however, commended the minister for ensuring the suspension of the USSD service charge.