Telecom Operators, under the platform of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), yesterday warned that they have endured beyond limits the lingering Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) debt owed them by banks and that they were prepared to disconnect all bank customers currently using the platform anytime soon.
According to ALTON, the debt has over the years risen to N120 billion.
ALTON, in a statement released and signed by its chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, said the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, has granted an approval for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to disconnect Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) if they fail to pay the debt owed to operators for the USSD debt which amounts to over N120 billion.
Adebayo said the minister and the NCC have made several efforts to get the banks to show good faith and sign an agreement, in the national interest, based on the resolutions reached at that meeting. He however said unfortunately, the patriotic intervention of the minister and the NCC have been taken for granted by the DMBs, as two years after, the banks have failed to sign a final agreement.