The House of Representatives has resolved to ensure monthly deduction of utility bills directly from the accounts of Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
This was a sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Uju Chima (APC-Imo) at plenary on Tuesday, March 2.
Moving the motion, Chima said that Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was a major contractor to the economic growth of every country.
”The IGR should at least represent 50 per cent of the Gross National Income of the economy,” he said.
Chima said that Section 80(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provided that MDAs should pay their IGRs into the consolidated revenue account of the federation.
“In order to ensure that utility bills are paid, the federal government introduced some laudable measures by privatising some sectors of the economy, like the electricity sector.
“But the government is worried that the MDAs are often accused of not paying utility bills to the bodies responsible for the collection, thereby making it impossible to remit the funds to the government and this has adverse effects on the IGR.
“There is an urgent need to devise workable means of ensuring that MDAs pay their utility bills to the government through direct debit mechanism of debiting the accounts of all MDA’s at the end of each month, in conjunction with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation,” he said.
The House mandated the Committees on Appropriation, Finance, and Public Accounts to interface with the heads of the MDAs to initiate a workable Strategic Plan to ensure efficient monthly payment of utility bills.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Wase mandated the committees to report back within eight weeks for further legislative action.