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  Mobile network operators in Nigeria are switching over to a new set of USSD codes for services such as mobile recharge, balance check, and others. These new codes are unified, meaning that customers will now use the same set of codes for each service, regardless of the network provider they are subscribed to. This is being implemented in line with a directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
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This move was announced by the NCC back in March 2023. The commission had informed the public that the new USSD codes would be used alongside the existing ones until May 17, when all telecommunication service providers were expected to have made a full switch to the fresh codes.

A List of the New USSD Codes

Here’s a list of the new, harmonized USSD codes:
  • Call Centre: 300
  • Borrow Services: *303#
  • Stop Service: *305#
  • Check Balance: *310#
  • Credit Recharge: *311#
  • Data Plan: *312#
  • Share Services: *321#
  • Data Plan Balance: *323#
  • DND (Do not Disturb): 2442
  • Porting services: 3232
  • NIN Verification and NIN-SIM Linkage: *996#

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Why the NCC Has Introduced New USSD Codes

The main reason that the NCC has given for introducing the new USSD codes is that it’s easier for Nigerians to memorize a single set of codes for telecommunication services. Now, they can move between networks without having to recall and use a different set of numbers for them. The commission seems to believe that the change could bring on more competition between network providers in the country. And this could be a good thing for customers. It has however noted a potential downside: some of these telecommunications companies could lose patronage as a result.
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Another benefit of the shift that the NCC has highlighted is the freeing up of three, four and five-digit codes, which could now be reallocated. It’s worth noting that USSD codes for banking services are unaffected by the switch. Featured Image Source: Deinhandy
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This article was first published on 20th May 2023


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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