Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Senator representing Kaduna central and Chairman Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Services, Uba Sani, has flayed the recent USSD charges imposed on Nigerians seeking to engage in financial transactions via their mobile phones, saying it undermines federal government’s plan for the poor.
Senator Sani who said he was dismayed by the revelation, observed that various studies conducted by domestic and international research institutions, show close to 33 percent of eligible Nigerians are unable to obtain banking services due to the high cost associated with such services.
“This recent action undermines our national objective of making sure poor and vulnerable Nigerians are able to open and operate bank accounts.
“Our committee does not intend to sit idly by, and watch firms exploit vulnerable Nigerians, by imposing an additional burden on them.
“We urge all parties to immediately suspend the recent imposition of new USSD charges. Our committee will engage with the key stakeholders in order to ensure that vulnerable Nigerians are protected from predatory pricing by firms,” he said.
Senator Sani noted that, Financial inclusion remains a paramount objective of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other financial services; as improved access to finance could help support economic growth and enable underserved Nigerians obtain financial services, which can support the growth of their business activities and welfare in general.
“All hands must therefore be on deck to ensure the implementation of policies and programs that would improve access to finance for all eligible Nigerians,” he added.