Nigerians have lamented the new #6.98 charge they are expected to pay for each transaction session initiated on the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data USSD services via their phones. The service is a session-based text communication protocol available on every GSM-enabled mobile device, where each bank has unique numbers and codes for banking and many other transactions.
“Welcome to USSD Banking. Please note, an N6.98 network charge will be applied to your account for banking services on this channel. Press 894 to Accept or 2 to Reject”, the message which pops up on the command of the unique numbers reads.
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Meanwhile, the decision to charge users was reached in March by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as part of an agreement reached with deposit money banks following a disagreement between banks and telecom firms over USSD and other text message transaction requests. The charge is expected to be withdrawn from users’ bank accounts and remitted to mobile network operators, who provide infrastructure for the service to operate.
Taking to Twitter, Nigerians lament, saying the nation is doing the most to frustrate their lives. Some others lament the fact that many bank users do not have access to internet to have information about the charge. “I use my ussd code more than 3 times a day That’s 18 Naira 18×7 ie in a week = 126 Naira Ie 504 Naira in a month. 6,048 Naira in a year Multiply this by other 10k people who use Usd code ahhhhhhhh Nigeria is after our Life”
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“Do they realize that people who mostly use #USSD can’t afford internet-enabled devices talk more of data. Now you’re charging 7 Naira”, a tweep @JimolWest said. “USSD?Police Dey Job Citizens Govts dey over Tax Citizens Fuel 163.9 Transportation NEPA Dey Send Bill without Light USSD now @ N6.98?? Naija Go Frustrate You”, @mandu_preye wrote. “Is USSD not free again?… Why dis pple just like to frustrate person like dis”, @Lefty_LOB wrote. Photos Credit: Getty