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Reps okay direct debit system to pay utility bills in MDAs

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The House of Representatives has endorsed establishment of a direct debit system for payment of utility bills in government’s ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the country.

Adopting a motion initiated by Uju Chima at plenary presided over by Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, it mandated its Committee on Appropriation, Finance and Public Accounts to interface with heads of MDAs to initiate a workable plan to achieve the objective.

The committee was directed to report back within eight weeks for further legislative action. Moving the motion, Chima argued that he had to initiate the move in view of the fact that MDAs were often accused of not paying their utility bills to the agencies responsible for collections, thereby making it impossible to remit funds to government coffers.

He argued that the development had affected Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which is a major factor in the country’s economic development.

He cited Section 80 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which provides that MDAs should pay their IGR into the Consolidated Revenue of the Federation to reinforce the import of his initiative.

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