UPDATE: MTN Nigeria and Banks in Talks to Finally Resolve USSD Dispute

MTN Nigeria and the commercial banks are in talks to resolve the USSD dispute that send panic into the telecoms and the banking industry when the latter disconnected MTN subscribers from their USSD services thereby distorting financial transactions last weekend.


Following the temporary suspension of sales of MTN products through MTN banking channel partners on April 2, 2021, services were restored on Sunday, April 4, 2021 with customers able to access all services.

This was agreed on the basis that MTN would revert to its previous cost of sales structures with banking partners, until a new long-term agreement can be reached on a sustainable pricing structure going forward.

However, to finally resolved the crisis, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communication Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria, initiated talks.

A statement from Nigeria said that the talks started since April 6, 2021, and it has been participating in a series of meetings to align on longer term pricing structures. We will provide a further market update once these discussions have been concluded.

The statement which was issued by the Senior Manager, External Relations, Corporate Affairs and Corporate Relations, Mr. Funso Aina, said that the streamlining MTN undertook is international standard and best practice as scale is built along distribution channels. We are confident that partners in the banking sector will work with us to ensure this process concludes as quickly as possible to the benefit of the entire industry.

“MTN would like to thank our customers for their patience, and express our regret at the inconvenience imposed on them while banking channels were offline. In order to further expand the range of channels available to customers, MTN has activated a number of new channel partnerships with fintech partners and these will remain in place, significantly expanding the channels available to our customers and increasing our sales and distribution network”, the statement said.

According to MTN, the new channel partners include Sparkle, Konga Pay, Barter By Flutter Wave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon, BillsnPay, MTN On Demand, MTN Xtratime airtime loans (*606#), myMTN Web http://mymtn.com.ng and Momo agent *223#.

The telecoms company thank the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communication Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria for their rapid intervention and we look forward to a mutually acceptable solution that empowers all ecosystem participants.

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