23 June 2021 By James Itodo
The Senate has received President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the approval of the 2021 Supplementary Appropriation Bill of N895, 842, 465, 917.
President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan read president Buhari’s letter at the commencement of plenary following its resumption from a two-week break.
President Buhari in the letter explained that the supplementary budget request is for a total sum of N895, 842, 465, 917,
adding that it would be used to fund N45.63 billion of the N83. 56 billion required for the COVID-19 vaccine programme by drawing on existing World Bank loans and other grants totalling 113.2 million US dollars.
He said the balance of N37. 93 billion required for COVID-19 vaccines, salaries and other health-related expenditures totalling N41.6 billion and N48.2 billion recurrent component of defence and security would be funded by borrowing N135 billion from some special reserve levy accounts.
“We propose to fund the balance of N722.4 billion for capital expenditure on defense and security and capital supplementation from new borrowings in the absence of any supplementary revenue sources.
“It has become necessary to prepare the 2021 supplementary appropriation bill considering the urgent need to make provision for procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccines” he said
President Buhari stressed that the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the procurement terms were still uncertain as at the time of finalising the 2021 budget, hence, there was no provision in the 2021 Appropriation Act for the procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.
He explained further that the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency have now developed a COVID-19 vaccine programme for the country.
He said Under the vaccine programme, 70 per cent of eligible Nigerians are to be vaccinated between 2021 and 2022 adding that the nation’s security and law enforcement agencies urgently need to procure additional equipment and other resources in response to the prevalent security challenges across the country.
“The Ministry of Defence has carefully scrutinised these procurement needs which the military authorities claim to represent the minimum requirement to secure our country and address current internal and external security challenges.
President Buhari said additional funds are required to meet our commitment to treat additional 50, 000 patients under the Nigerian Comprehensive Aids Programmes in States (NCAPS) as the amount provided in the 2021 appropriation bill for this purpose was inexplicably cut by the National Assembly
He urged expeditious legislative action on the supplementary appropriation bill 2021.”