Banks offer telcos repayment plan over N120bn debt

Telecommunication firms are considering a repayment plan proposed by Deposit Money Banks to end the N120bn debt on the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data service.

A source said the Central Bank of Nigeria was intervening in the dispute, and planned a meeting with both parties.

According to a source in the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, the umbrella body for telcos, “Work is going on and we would soon have a meeting with the telcos. We are going to talk about what the banks have told us. Modalities for payments, the banks are ready to pay.

“The CBN has called all of us to try to resolve the matter. We are looking at a way of fulfilling the promise. Banks have made commitments to pay.”

The source noted that the debt had continued to increase in 2023, due to continued patronage of the USSD channel.

Telcos and banks had had been having disagreements on the debt since 2019, over the payment of USSD debt.

At the time, telcos insisted that banks were owing them N32bn for offering financial services with USSD.

Since then, an agreement over the repayment of the debt had remained elusive, with telcos threatening to stop banks from using USSD channels.

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