Commercial banks in Nigeria on Monday denied instructing MTN to deduct charges for USSD.
In an advertorial, the lenders, acting under the aegis of Body of Bank CEOs said its attention had been drawn to a text message sent by the telco concerning the charges.
“Our attention has been drawn to SMS sent on Saturday 19th October by MTN Nigeria Communications PLC to customers of banks in Nigeria in respect of the above.
The message states that the banks requested MTN to start charging customers for USSD transactions directly. It also ask customers to contact their banks for more information. We wish to state as follows:
“That the banks did not ask MTN to start charging customers as contained in the text message. The decision on whether and what amount to charge a customer for accessing USSD is entirely that of the telco in the same way a customer is billed for calls SMS and data.
“MTN is the only telco that is yet to implement end-user billing which is the standard practice for customer initiated transactions. This is despite the fact that the banks working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have engaged MTN over a period of more than one year to try and bring down the cost of USSD to aid financial inclusion.
“That the banks are determined to pursue the Nigerian National Financial Inclusion Strategy of the Federal Government of Nigeria and we continue to advocate that telcos identify whole-heartedly with this laudable initiative and implement transparent and low pricing model in the USSD access code.
“We wish to reiterate that financial transaction charges are regulated by the CBN as stipulated in the Banks Tariff and that the charges for financial transactions carried out with banks remain unchanged.”
BREAKING: FG Reduces 2020 Budget
The Federal Government has sent new budget proposal to the National Assembly for consideration in view of global economic realities as a result of the COVID-19- pandemic.
The new proposal sighted by The Nation, which is being considered by the National Assembly, reduced the 2020 estimate from. N10.594 trillion to N10.276 trillion.
It also reduces the oil bench mark from $57 per barrel to $30 per barrel while the oil production volume was reduced from 2.17 million barrel to 1.70 million barrel.
The exchange rate increased from N305 to N360 to a dollar.
COVID-19: Chinese Doctors Arrive Nigeria Today, To Spend One Month
Despite opposition by the Nigerian Medical Association, the visiting 15-member medical team from China will arrive the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on a chattered Air Peace aircraft on Wednesday (today).
The personnel, who are experts in infectious diseases, respiratory illness, intensive care, cardiology, neurology, general surgery and anesthesiology, will be coming with their drugs, and equipment to carry out COVID-19 tests on the staff of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation in the country.
The Executive Director, CCECC, Mr Jacques Liao, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, that the medical team would be coming with 16-ton test kits, ventilators, disinfection machine, disposable medical masks, drugs, infrared thermometer and other items ordered by the Federal Government.
Liao dispelled what he described as the controversy about the team’s visit, stating that “the primary purpose of the team is to provide CECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare.”
He added, “All members of the working team have tested negative for COVID-19 and shall commence their stay in Nigeria by spending 14 days in quarantine.
“The primary purpose of the team is to provide CCECC employees with critical and necessary health care assistance. They are also coming with adequate personal protective equipment and medical items for the employees.”
The director explained that under the directive of the Embassy of China in Nigeria and in response to the Federal Government’s request, the team may also share with their Nigerian counterparts effective methods on COVID-19 containment.
Liao explained that in keeping with CCECC’s corporate value, ‘stride with Nigeria,’ the firm would be participating in the construction of two COVID-19 response facilities in the Federal Capital Territory for free.
Meanwhile, the Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives has rejected the decision of the Federal Government to bring in Chinese doctors and nurses to assist in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawmakers on Tuesday said the decision to bring in people from “the hotbed of the plague” was not in Nigeria’s best interest. They urged the Federal Government to suspend the plan.
Their position was contained in a statement signed by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta), in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Elumelu, said the caucus wanted the Federal Government to rescind its decision to import doctors from the “hotbed of the plague into our country at this critical time.”
The statement read in part, “The lawmakers note that Nigerian doctors and nurses are doing well so far in managing the scourge, and express fears that bringing in Chinese medical personnel, whose status, intentions and scope cannot be easily ascertained and controlled is totally against our national interest.
“The Federal Government should note the apprehensions of Nigerians and professional bodies including the Nigeria Medical Association over the decision. The caucus notes that this is particularly after alleged escalation of the pandemic in certain countries after Chinese doctors were reportedly involved, in addition to widespread trepidations over the safety of medical equipment and kits from China at this point in time.
“At such critical time, the safety and wellbeing of our citizens must be paramount and anything that is capable of further jeopardising their lives must be avoided.” (Punch)
BREAKING: Nigeria Records 16 New Cases Of Coronavirus
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday night announced sixteen new cases of the Coronavirus,
Ten cases were recorded in Lagos; two cases were recorded in the FCT, two in Oyo, one in Delta and one in Katsina
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 254.
44 have so far been discharged with six deaths recorded.
Sixteen new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria: 10 in Lagos, 2 in the FCT, 2 in Oyo, 1 in Delta and 1 in Katsina
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) April 7, 2020
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