Executive Vice President and Chief Executive of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Professor Mohammad Haruna, has advocated for the release of the one per cent allocation owed to the agency from the Federation Account.
Haruna made the plea during a courtesy visit to Borno Governor Professor Babagana Zulum in Maiduguri, where the agency would set up the Industrial Machinery and Equipment Development Institute and a skills acquisition center.
Unveiling on Thursday that the center would create massive skills training for youth, Haruna said it would also ensure employability and close the existing gap in various occupations.
He requested about 20 hectares of land for the launch of the new institute and another 10 hectares for the skills center.
Speaking at the event, the NASENI CEO said, “You were a member of the Nigerian Governors Forum ad hoc committee on the modalities of the partnership between NASENI and state governments, in regards to the one per cent Account of the Federation.
“This committee, headed by former Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, recommended, with the approval of the Nigerian Forum of Governors, that the agency have justified the need for the fund. You are also a member of the standing committee of the National Economic Council on the allocation of NASENI’s one percent of the Federation Account.
“Despite the approval of the NEC, headed by the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, the approval of the National Assembly and the president, NASENI has not yet begun to receive one percent of the funds from the Federation Account.
“Therefore, I seek your support and assistance not only for the start of the remittance to the NASENI dedicated account, but also for the payment of all arrears owed to the agency from the Federation account.”
Speaking about the planned skills acquisition institute, Haruna added: “I have the mandate and instruction from the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), who is also the Chairman of the NASENI Governing Board, to convey the approval Presidential award for the location and establishment of the Industrial Machinery and Equipment Development Institute in Borno.
“It is one of the 12 new NASENI institutes approved since 2021 by the President. He has also approved the establishment of a skills acquisition and training center in Borno State at a location of his choosing.
“There will be skills development training for 100 selected youth from all local governments in the state on modern vulcanization methods and applications with start-up kits in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s nationwide youth training.”
“The massive skills training of youth is to ensure employability and close the existing gap in various occupations created by the collapse of trades, vocational schools and technical colleges. Training at Maiduguri is scheduled to start on January 30, 2023.
“I am also here to request a minimum of 20 hectares of land for the launch of the new NASENI institute and another minimum of 10 hectares for the construction of the skills development center. It is the wish of President Muhammadu Buhari that these centers be built and commissioned before the end of December 2023.
In response, Zulum promised to mobilize his colleagues to secure the release of the allocation of one percent of the Federation Account for NASENI.