Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has waded into the trade dispute between commercial banks and mobile network operator, MTN Nigeria.
Pantami, in a tweet late Friday, wrote, “On the fallout between @MTNNG and some banks on USSD services today, I engaged with both regulators, the Governor of @cenbank and EVC @NgComCommission.
“We have reached an advance stage of resolving the issues, for the services to be restored to our citizens. Many thanks!”
The PUNCH had reported that commercial banks early Friday disconnected MTN customers from banking channels including the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and banking apps.
MTN customers had lamented being unable to recharge their MTN lines using USSD and other banking channels like the bank apps. MTN, therefore, advised their customers to recharge using physical cards.
The PUNCH gathered that the development was not unconnected to the N42bn debt owed mobile operators by banks.
The telco had also reduced the banks’ commission from an average of 3.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent which predicated the actions of the banks.
The banks had written MTN to revert to the old commission, otherwise, they would block MTN airtime in all their channels.
The banks, except Zenith Bank which was connected directly to MTN, subsequently blocked MTN from their banking channels, leaving many MTN subscribers frustrated as they were unable to recharge airtime via USSD amid the Easter celebrations.
MTN holds the largest share of the mobile market in Nigeria, accounting for about half of the total mobile subscribers in the country.