The Federal Government says it would present a supplementary budget to the national assembly in March for the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination of frontline workers.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said this on Thursday, at the maiden edition of State House briefing held in Aso Rock Villa.
On January 12, Ahmed said the the Federal Government would seek supplementary budget for 2021 fiscal year to fund COVID-19 vaccination program.
She had said relevant authorities, including the ministry of finance, health and the Budget Office of the Federation was currently working on the cost of the program.
At the maiden edition, Ahmed said: “There will be a supplementary budget, the first one will be in March but we will also have a mid-year review like we did last year of the budget.
“If at the time we do the review and there is a need to go back to do any amendment for supplementary budget, at that time we will take that decision, if not, we will just report the review.”
She gave an indication that the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines will arrive the country next week when “we have a provision in the 2021 budget for immunisation. We are already releasing money to the health authorities to start operation in the first batch of vaccines that is going to arrive the country in one week.
“But what we have in the budget is not enough, so we are working with the health authorities to provide a plan that will be taken to the president for approval and to be taken to the national assembly as a supplementary budget specifically for COVID -19 vaccination.”
The Federal Government in December 2020, said Nigerians will start receiving vaccines by January 2021, it however, the arrival date was changed to the end of February.
However, on Wednesday, the Federal Government again extended the vaccine delivery date to March.
Meanwhile, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African countries, including Nigeria, on Tuesday.