Nigerian banks debunk Telco debt allegations


Some Nigerian financial institutions have debunked the viral allegations that they are indebted to Telco giant, Mtn among others for using telecommunication platforms to provide payment services.

As reported by Bloomberg, Herbert Wigwe, chief executive officer of Access Bank Plc disclosed during an investor call: “There is no such thing as an obligation due from banks to telcos. We chose not to make a public statement out of it because it is not appropriate for us to be found fighting with telcos in public. It is true that they continue to provide this service but this service has nothing to do with the banks.”

The banks have been in discussion with MTN Nigeria to resolve a dispute which followed the service provider’s decision to reduce a commission charged on airtime purchases through banking channels by almost half to 2.5%.

The dispute resulted in an outcry from MTN’s 77.4 million Nigerian subscribers who were disconnected from banking channels including Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and banking apps due to an alleged disagreement over earnings.

The mobile network operator retaliated by exploring other electronic payment platforms such as Flutterwave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon and BillsnPay to enable its customers to recharge their phones.

The action against MTN was an escalation of an ongoing dispute between lenders and telcos in Africa’s largest economy over fees chargeable on services carried out on each others’ platforms. Telecom operators through their umbrella union, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, threatened last month to disconnect banks from providing payment services on telco platforms until they paid a 42 billion naira ($103 million) debt allegedly due to its members from end-user billing.

The threat was called off after the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy intervened in the dispute leading to an agreement to charge a fixed amount and also settle any indebtedness for past services.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    No comments found.