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HomeBusinessTelecom firms mull repayment plan to settle N120 bln USSD debt dispute...

Telecom firms mull repayment plan to settle N120 bln USSD debt dispute with banks

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Telecommunication companies are actively considering a proposed repayment scheme put forward by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to resolve the lingering N120 billion debt associated with the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) service, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is reported to be stepping into the fray, arranging a meeting between the concerned parties to seek a resolution.

A senior representative from the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the industry’s overarching body, shared insights, stating, “We are currently in progress and anticipate an imminent meeting with telecom operators.

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We are in discussions regarding the terms presented by the banks, outlining the mechanisms for repayments. The banks have signaled their preparedness to fulfill their obligations.”

The source highlighted that the debt accumulation persisted throughout 2023, fueled by the ongoing utilization of the USSD channel.

The conflict between telecom operators and banks over USSD debt dates back to 2019, initially arising from a divergence in perspectives regarding financial services rendered through the USSD platform.

During that period, telecom companies asserted that banks were indebted to them for a sum of N32 billion in connection to USSD-enabled financial services.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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