The House of Representatives has assured that it will pass the 2021 supplementary budget of N895.842 billion submitted by President Buhari before embarking on its annual recess by of July 15. Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila gave the assurance on Tuesday after reading the letter accompanying the supplementary budget sent by the president. President Buhari, in the letter dated June 15, 2021, is seeking the approval of the parliament for the sum of N895.842,465,917 as supplementary budget for the 2021 fiscal year.
Buhari, in the letter, explained that the amount captured is to fund the COVID-19 vaccine programme, health-related expenditure for treatment of additional 50,000 patients under the Nigeria Comprehensive AIDS programme in states, as well as to procure additional equipment captured in this year’s capital expenditure on defence and security to tackle prevalent security challenges across the country.
He said N45.63 billion of the N83.56 billion required for the COVlD-19 vaccine programme will be drawn from existing World Bank loans (which would be restructured) as well as other grants totalling $113.22 million. The president further said the balance of N37.93 billion required for COVlD- 19 vaccines, salaries and other health-related expenditure totalling N41.69 billion and the N48.20 billion recurrent component of defence/security expenditure will be funded by drawing N135 billion from some Special Reserve/Levy Accounts, which will be captured as revenues.
The letter read in part: “In our collective efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and address the various security and other challenges facing the country, it has become necessary to prepare the 2021 Supplementary Appropriation Bill, considering the urgent need to make provision for procurement and administration of COVlD-19 vaccines. The availability of COVlD-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.
“The Ministry of Defence has carefully scrutinized these procurement needs, which the military authorities claim to represent the minimum requirements to secure our country and address current external and internal security challenges. Furthermore, additional funds are required to meet our commitment to treat additional 50,000 patients under the Nigeria Comprehensive AIDS Programme in States (NCAPS), as the amount provisioned in the 2021 Appropriation Bill for this purpose was inexplicably cut by the National Assembly. In order to address the urgent problem of oxygen availability in the country and avoid the potential loss of lives, provision was made for the procurement and installation of new oxygen plants nationwide and repairs of oxygen plants in FCT hospitals…”