USSD Charge: Does the CBN care about the ordinary Nigerian? | The #YNaijaCover

These are certainly not the best of times economically for majority of Nigerians. From increase in pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) and its reversal to consistent fall of the naira against the dollar, it’s becoming a sorry tale daily.

One can argue that Nigerians now go to bed daily with the hope of waking up to the miracle of a changed nation overnight as the heartbreaks on all fronts for citizens increases. Security, Economy, Health Care, Education; too many things are suffering ill-health in the Nigeria of today and the governments across all the different levels appear to clueless in the face of things.

Tuesday, 16th March didn’t brighten that dream of a miracle either, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in a joint statement announced the imposition of N6.98 charge per transaction for mobile banking services in the country, from Wednesday, March 16.

Although the apex bank argues that the new charge which “replaces the current per session billing structure, ensures a much cheaper average cost for customers to enhance financial inclusion,” Nigerians have criticised the move.

Some have pointed that the policy is likely to hurt the gains made in expanding financial inclusion in the country. This is especially because a huge number of the population who do not have access to smartphones (which provides room for the use of alternative platforms like banking applications) make use of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) in the payment of their bills and sundry services.

There are also concerns as expressed on social media that the apex bank was transferring the burden of payment for the service from banks to Nigerians following the controversy between the institutions and the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).

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