The Presidency has directed the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to remit the statutory deductions accruable to the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
Blueprint further learnt it was part of steps to boost the development of science and technology in the country.
With this directive, the agency is set to start receiving between one and two per cent of the Federation Account in line with the establishment law.
The development, according to sources, has been communicated to Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed.
According to the Act , FIRS is statutorily expected to deduct and remit to it a quarter per cent of the levy on turnover of firms earning over N100million and above.
But the law guiding NASENI’s funding was never complied with by successive governments.
In a letter signed by the Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the FIRS was directed to remit the deducted levy on turnover as approved by Buhari.
“I write to inform you that on 24th January 2021, Mr. President approved the prayers of the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) on the funding of NASENI activities.
“In accordance with the NASENI Establishment Act, one of the prayers of the EVC relates to the funding of the agency via a levy on income or turnover of commercial companies and firms with turnover of N4million (later increased to N100million) by the NASENI Governing Board) at the rate of a quarter per cent( 1/4 %) of turnover.
“Accordingly, you are kindly requested to act on the implementation of this provision of the NASENI Act as soon as possible,” the letter directed.
“The President also observed that the enabling law of the agency was promulgated to an Act in 2004, adding that Section 2, Subsection 1 and 3 of NASENI Act provides for a governing board of the agency under the chairmanship of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is important for NASENI board to note that agencies of government with similar mandate as NASENI in many countries are under the supervision of their respective heads of states and government. This administration has a premium and importance attached to home grown technology, science and engineering infrastructure towards the social economic and technological development of the country,” revealed a document which explained how the latest decision was arrived at.
Reasons for the decision
A presidency source further said the new directive was informed by seven key projects (inventions) being undertaken by NASENI with funding as a major hindrance.
They include: a Made-In-Nigeria helicopter which Buhari directed the agency to produce; establishment of First Made-In- Nigeria Transformer Plant and High Voltage Testing Laboratory to be located in Okene, Kogi state; first Made-In-Nigeria Plant for the manufacturing of Silica which is the major materials needed for local manufacturing of solar panels to resolve alternative/Renewable Energy supply for the nation; and funding of the plant for First Made-In-Nigeria Smart Prepaid Energy Meter (SPEM), already patented, before transferring them to private sector entrepreneurs as stipulated by its mandate.
The new arrangement
With the new funding arrangement, NASENI’s spending will focus more on mechanism to stimulate linkages between science and technology, academics and the industrial sect or on the one hand and the country’s economic and industrial transformation on the other.
This is in line with the spirit of the Financial Provisions; PART VI, Section 20 of the ACT.
It states that the Agency shall establish a fund from which shall be defrayed all expenditure incurred by the Agency for the purpose of this ACT.
Further to this, there shall be paid and credited to the fund: (a) 1 per cent of the Federation Account in the first instance, to be increased to 2 per cent by the year 2000. (b) Levy on income or turn-over of commercial companies and firms with turnover of N4 million and above, which shall be- (i) At the rate of quarter per cent in the first instance: (ii) Collected by the Federal Board of Inland Revenue or by any other suitable means as may be specified by the Agency; and (iii) Credited to the account of the Agency.
(c) Contributions from the organized private sector; (d) Foreign aid and instance from bilateral and multilateral agencies; (e) Fees charged for services rendered by the Agency; (f) All sums accruing to the agency by way of gifts, endowments, bequest or other voluntary contributions by persons and organizations.No tags for this post.