The Executive Vice-Chairman and the Chief Executive of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Prof Mohammad Haruna, has pleaded for the release of one per cent allocation due to the agency from the Federation Account.
Haruna made this plea during a courtesy call on Borno Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, in Maiduguri, where the agency was set to establish the Industrial Equipment and Machinery Development Institute and a skill acquisition centre.
While disclosing on Thursday that the centre would create massive skill training for youths, Haruna said it would also guarantee employability and bridge the existing gap in various occupations.
He requested about 20 hectares of land for the take-off of the new institute and another 10 hectares for the skill centre.
Speaking at the event, the NASENI chief executive said, “You were a member of the ad-hoc committee of the Nigeria Governors Forum on modalities of the partnership between NASENI and state governments, as it relates to one per cent of the Federation Account.
“This committee, which is headed by former governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State recommended, with the approval of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, that the agency has justified the need for the fund. You are also a member of the standing committee of the National Economic Council on NASENI’s one per cent allocation from the Federation Account.
“Despite the approval of NEC, headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, the approval of the National Assembly and Mr President, NASENI has yet to start receiving one per cent of the funds from the Federation Account.
“I am therefore seeking your support and assistance not only for the commencement of remittance to NASENI dedicated account but also for the payment of all arrears due to the agency from the Federation account.”
Speaking on the planned skill acquisition institute, Haruna added, “I have the mandate and instruction of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who doubles as the Chairman of the Governing Board of NASENI, to convey the presidential approval for the location and establishment of the Industrial Equipment and Machinery Development Institute in Borno.
“It is one of the 12 new institutes of NASENI approved since 2021 by the President. He has also approved the establishment of a skill acquisition and training centre in Borno State at a location of your choice.
“There will be skill development training for 100 youths selected from all the local governments in the state on modern vulcanising methods and applications with start-up kits in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s nationwide training of teeming youth.”
“The massive skill training of youths is to guarantee employability and bridge the existing gap in various occupations created by the collapse of crafts, vocational schools and technical colleges. The training in Maiduguri is scheduled to start on January 30, 2023.
“I am also here to request a minimum of 20 hectares of land for the take-off of the new NASENI institute and another minimum of 10 hectares for the construction of the skill development centre. It is the desire of President Muhammadu Buhari that these centres be constructed and commissioned before the end of December 2023.
Responding, Zulum promised to mobilise his colleagues to ensure the release of the one per cent allocation from the Federation Account for NASENI.