Senate okays three per cent of 10-year VAT for North East
Govt develops therapeutic food for malnourished children in region
The Senate has approved the allocation of three per cent of the Value Added Tax (VAT) accruable to the Federal Government in the next 10 years for rebuilding the North-East.
It also adopted the recommendation of the ad-hoc committee on North-East Development Commission Bill (NEDC), which proposed that the commission be domiciled in Maiduguri, Borno State.
Chairman of the committee, Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North) who presented the report at the plenary session yesterday, said the committee agreed with all other funding arrangements proposed by the bill.
He said: “The committee reviewed and agreed with the funding arrangement that was proposed in the bill but for the aspect that sought five per cent of the Federal VAT without a time-frame.
“Consequently, the committee reviewed the amount to three per cent of the Federal VAT for the period of 10 years that will serve as intervention from the Federal Government.”
With the adoption of the recommendation of the ad-hoc committee, the funding of the commission will also include 15 per cent of allocation to the six northeastern states.
Egwu also noted that a 50 per cent deduction of the Ecological Fund would be due to the region.
After adopting the new recommendations, the Senate referred the bill to the standing committee on special duties chaired by Murtala Nyako.
The committee is to effect the changes in the area of funding and location of the commission and bring the bill back for final passage.
In another development, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, yesterday said the sector had developed ready-to-use therapeutic food for children who suffer malnutrition, especially those affected by insurgency in the North-East.
According to him, there are many ready-to-use therapeutic food developed by an agency of the ministry to serve the Nigerian populace as well as become commercialised to serve the export market.
The minister said this while receiving the management team of the African University of Science and Technology (AUST), which paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.
He stated that the ministry would collaborate with the university, especially in the area of research because the country is working to move its economy away from resource and commodity-based to knowledge-based.