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NCC revises determination on USSD pricing

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission has revised its Determination on Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) pricing published on the 23rd of July, 2019.

Kano Focus reports that, the commission said the development is in furtherance of its mandate to protect the interests of consumers and support a robust telecommunications sector.

A statement sent to Kano Focus by commission’s director public affairs Ikechukwu Adinde revealed that the amendment was necessitated following a protracted dispute between Mobile Network Operators and Financial Institutions on the applicable charges for USSD services and the method of billing.

The statement added that as a responsive and effective regulatory authority, the Commission recognises that its policies are not static and may be modified from time to time as circumstances demand.

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This according to the statement is coming on the heels of a recent directive by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, regarding a review of the USSD pricing by all parties involved, following a presentation made by the Commission on the billing structure, determination of USSD pricing, current status and the way forward.

Speaking during the presentation, the Minister stated that he took the decision to suspend the commencement of end-user billing (where the consumers are charged directly from their airtime balance for use of USSD channels as opposed to corporate billing where the banks paid the MNOs for the use of USSD service) because he was “genuinely besieged with a barrage of complaints at the attempted commencement of end-user billing by service providers.”

The Minister also clarified that “USSD is a service to banks and not to the Telecom Consumers, and as such, banks should see themselves as corporate customers of telecom operators with a duty to pay for using the telecom network and infrastructure, including USSD channels extended to them for service delivery to their customers.”

According to him, “Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have no direct relationship to bank customers, and cannot, therefore, charge directly for usage of USSD channel.”

The USSD channel has evolved over time from a telco-exclusive channel used for only telco services such as balance inquiry and recharges to a channel for the deployment of a broad spectrum of services, including financial, insurance, agricultural, government services and more. The use of USSD channel has become a critical resource in the economy even more so in this era of the Covid-19 pandemic that has witnessed a rise in reliance on digital services.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta, in the interest of the consumers and other stakeholders, has revised the Determination previously issued by removing the Price Floor and the Cap to allow the Mobile Network Operators and the banks negotiate rates that will be mutually beneficial to all parties concerned.

The NCC also determined that Mobile Network Operators must not charge the consumers directly for the use of USSD channels for financial services in the form of end-user-billing. The transaction should be between the MNOs and the entity to which the service is provided (i.e. Banks and Financial Institutions).

The statement said the copy of the determination is available on the NCC’s website, www.ncc.gov.ng.

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Bashir Ahmad, loses APC primary

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Nasiru Yusuf

President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide on new media, Bashir Ahmad, failed to secure the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) ticket to contest the House of Representative seat for Gaya/Ajingi/Albasu Federal Constituency, Kano.

KANI FOCUS reports that Ahmad was defeated by the incumbent member, Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya, with 109 to 16 votes as announced by the returning officer of the election Faizu Alfindiki.

In his acceptance speech Gaya assured to sustain the good representation of the constituency in the lower chamber.

Ahmad had earlier written on his Facebook page that he left the venue of the primary to protect his supporters because thugs were intimidating them.

Bashir Ahmad with APC
Kano state chairman Abdullahi Abbas 

“As an aspirant, I left the venue of the primary election for Gaya, Ajingi and Albasu Federal Constituency, because of the security of our majority delegates, if want to compete with the best, thugs shouldn’t be part of any election,” Mr Ahmad wrote.

Meanwhile, Umar Ganduje, son of the governor of Kano State Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, won the APC ticket to contest the seat of Dawakin Tofa/Tofa/Rimingado Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.

Mr Ganduje emerged as the consensus candidate following the withdrawal of his opponent, Junaidu Yakubu, after a reconciliation meeting arranged by the senator representing Kano North, Barau Jibrin, and the House of Representatives member representing Bichi Federal Constituency, Abubakar Bichi, just before the primary election.

Also, the immediate past commissioner of rural and community development of the state, Musa Ilyasu Kwankwaso, won the ticket of the APC to contest Kura/Madobi/Garun Malam federal constituency.

Mr Kwankwaso polled 150 votes to beat his main opponent, Hama Aware, who scored 6 votes during a primary election conducted at Islamic Centre, Kura Local Government Area.

Another former commissioner of education, Sunusi Kiru, also won the APC’s ticket for Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency.

A copy of the election result signed by Musa Sumaila and Muhammad Arewa, chairman and secretary of the primary election committee, showed that Mr Kiru scored 140 votes to beat incumbent member Ali Yako who scored three votes. Bashir Bello had two votes.

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APC primaries: Kwankwaso wins Kura/Madobi/Garun Malam federal constituency

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Nasiru Yusuf


The immediate past commissioner of Rural and Community Development Musa Ilyasu Kwankwaso has won the All Progressive Congress APC ticket for Kura/Madobi/Garun Malam federal constituency.

Kano Focus reports that Kwankwaso polled 150 votes to beat his main opponent Hama Ali Aware who scored 6 votes while

Details later…….

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Ulama Forum describes Anambra killing as barbaric, seeks life compensation

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Ulama Forum in Nigeria has described the recent killing of a pregnant woman Harira and her four children in Isulo, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State as a barbaric.

KANO FOCUS reports the Forum also appealed to Muslims in Northern Nigeria and other places to resist the temptation of any unlawful reprisal.

The Forum made the appeal on Friday in a statement jointly signed by Aminu Inuwa Muhammad and Sa’id Ahmad Dukawa chairman and secretary respectively.

“The Forum is deeply saddened by the satanic and terrorist activities of the illegal and outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), the most recent of which is the unprovoked cold blooded murder of a law abiding pregnant woman, her four innocent children and six other northerners in Isulo, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State on Sunday, 22nd May, 2022.

“We now have reason to lend our weight to the voices objecting to the release of the IPOB’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu. The latest crime of the group he leads, in murdering Harira, her children and six others for no reason than their being Muslims of Northern Nigeria extraction, must be added to the list of his unrepentant crimes until the full wrath of the law is brought down on him,” statement said.

To this end, the Forum called on the Anambra state government to apologise to Muslim community, pay full life compensation to the relatives of the deceased and take measures to stop the barbaric and terrorist acts.

It also called on the federal government and the security agencies to demonstrate that they are capable of protecting the lives and properties of Nigerian citizens irrespective of where they decide to reside in Nigeria, just as sanctioned by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments.

“We are in such a state of grief and mental hardship inflicted upon us by IPOB that we need to say no more!!!

“We are watching to see whether there are responsive and responsible governments in Anambra state in particular and other states in the east where such unprovoked acts of barbarism and terrorism are being perpetrated over the years. May justice and peace prevail in Nigeria. Ameen,” the statement concluded.

It will be recall that some gunmen believe to be members of proscribed Indeginous People of Biafra (IPOB) have killed a pregnant woman and her four children in Anambra state.

Below is the list of clerics who signed the statement

1) Malam Aminu Inuwa Muhammad (Chairman) Kano

2) Prof. Mansur Ibrahim mni  Sokoto

3) Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar   Kano

4) Dr. Sa’id Ahmad Dukawa Kano

5) Dr. Abubakar Muhamad Sani B/Kudu  Jigawa

6) Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu   Kaduna

7) Prof. Muhammad Babangida Muhammad Kano

8) Prof. Salisu Shehu  Bauchi

9) Prof. Ahmad Bello Dogarawa   Kaduna

10) Mal. Ahmad Bello Abu Maimoona   Katsina

11) Dr. Muhammad Alhaji Abubakar  Borno

12) Malam Muhammad Lawal Maidoki, Sadaukin Sokoto  Sokoto

13) Malam Aminu Aliyu Gusau  Zamfara

14) Mal. Shehu Muhammad Maishanu  Zamfara

15) Prof. Muhammad Amin Al-Amin  Katsina

16) Barr. Ibrahim Muhammad Attahir   Gombe

17) Dr. Salisu Ismail   Jigawa

18) Dr. Abubakar Sa’idu   Gombe

19) Engr. Ahmad Y. M. Jumba   Bauchi

20)  Amir Abdullahi Abubakar Lamido   Gombe

21) Dr. Ibrahim Adam Omar Disina  Bauchi

22) Prof. Ahmad Murtala   Kano

23) Prof. Usman M. Shuaibu Zunnurain  Katsina

24)  Engr. Basheer Adamu Aliyu   (Secretary) Kano

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