The Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Pantami, has directed telco, MRN, to stop its planned deduction of N4 per 20 seconds for mobile USSD banking on its platform.
MTN had sent out messages saying it would start deducting the fee from Monday October 21, 2019.
The fee sparked outrage as Nigerians wondered why the telco was eager to enforce the illegal charge.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, the minister said: "The attention of the Federal Ministry of Communications has been drawn to the viral text message allegedly sent by the Mobile Network Operator MTN Nigeria and other Mobile Operators notifying subscribers of a four naira (N4:00) charge per 20 seconds on USSD access to banking services from the 21st of October 2019.
The office of the Honourable Minister of Communications Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM is unaware of this development and has hereby directed the sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) ensures the operator suspends such plans until the Honourable Minister is fully and properly briefed."