With the huge sums remitted from Personal Income Tax, PIT, and Value Added Tax, VAT alone in the forgone year, the government seems to be leaving no stone unturned in its diversification agenda away from the current unstable oil market. The government is on the lookout for expanding the tax net.

Just like the Silicon Valley model in the United State of America, science, and technology in recent times is becoming a viable means of shoring up the government’s resources. There is no gainsaying that other nations of the world are migrating to this school of thought.

It is in this light that President Muhammadu Buhari in a bid to boost the sector here in Nigeria has directed the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, is now to remit the statutory deductions accruable to the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI.

The directive has also been communicated to the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed.

This implies that the agency may soon get one to two percent of the Federation Account as contained in its Establishment Act of 2004. This is coming after the Governing Board of NASENI headed by President Buhari decided on its implication.

Background

Recall that in the NASENI Establishment Act of 2004, FIRS is statutorily expected to deduct and remit to it a quarter percent of the levy on turnover of firms earning over ₦100million and above.

On the flip side, although NASENI was established in 1992, the law guiding its funding has not been complied with by successive governments but earlier this year in January, President Muhammadu Buhari decided to ensure total compliance with NASENI Act.  Buhari has also approved the placement of NASENI directly under the supervision of the Presidency instead of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

TaxMobile.Online understood from a letter by the Presidency, signed by the Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, that the FIRS has been directed to remit the deducted levy on turnover as approved by Buhari.

The statement is deduced below:

“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.

“Following 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 a turnover of N4million (later increased to N100million) by the NASENI Governing Board) at the rate of a quarter percent ( 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 rationale behind the decision

The presidency further revealed that the presidential directive was informed by seven key projects (inventions) being under-taking by NASENI with funding as a major hindrance.

Recall that recently, President Buhari charged NASENI to produce a Made-In-Nigeria helicopter.

Others are as follows:

  • 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.
  • First Made-In-Nigeria Smart Prepaid Energy Meter, SPEM, which is already patented, before transferring them to private sector entrepreneurs as stipulated by its mandate.
  • Establishment of Zonal (Six geo-political Zones) Agricultural Machinery & Equipment Development Institutes which had already been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
  • Completion of work on First Made-in-Nigeria E-Voting solutions designed and produced by Nigerian Engineers in NASENI.
  • Completion of work on Reverse Engineering process of 5 Kilowatt small Hydro Kinetic Turbine.
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