The Federal Executive Council has approved a draft supplementary budget of N895 billion for the year 2021.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ahmed said the next step would be to present a bill on the budget to the National Assembly for approval, in line with constitutional provisions.
She said: “Today the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning presented to the Council a proposal to seek approval for the draft federal government of Nigeria 2021 supplementary budget. The Council deliberated on our proposal and approved as follows.
“The Council approved the bill having noted the need for the urgent procurement of vaccines and also the need for funding, to ensure that Nigeria is able to meet its commitment under the Nigerian Comprehensive AIDS programme.
The approval is also in consideration of the urgent need to specifically enhance the capacity of our military and para military agencies to tackle the various security challenges that we currently have in the country.
It will be recalled that Ahmed had briefed the press in February on the need for a supplementary budget to provide additional funding to the military and also procure more COVID-19 vaccine for the country. She had said, “We have already provided to the ministry funds to enable them to roll out the four million vaccines that have been brought into the country, and the vaccination process is ungoing.“ We hope in the next couple of days, we’ll have clarity on the schedule of vaccines expected from donors, and then we will now be able to firm up what government has to provide for in 2021”
“The Council on that note approved the 2021 supplementary appropriation bill, in an aggregate expenditure of N895, 842, 462, 917. The total of this expenditure is made up of N83.56 billion for COVID-19 vaccine programme, covering 30 billion vaccines from Johnson and Johnson vaccines and the logistics cost related to the deployment of that vaccine.
“It also contains the sum of N1.69 billion for the Nigerian Comprehensive AIDS programme currently operating in the States and an additional contingency provision of N40 billion under the public service-wide wage adjustments to take care of the needs for allowances to the health and education sectors and other wage related issues.
This is an incremental provision to the N100 billion already provided for in the 2021 budget.
“The Council also approved an aggregate sum of N770.60 billion to further enhance the capacity of the defence and security agencies to address current and emerging security challenges in our country.
The Finance Minister said that the Council also gave approval to draw down on some existing World Bank loans totalling about N39.58 billion as part of the financing source for the supplementary budget.
“We will be working with the World Bank to restructure some of the existing facilities to realise this N39.58 billion. We have also been given approval to withdraw N135 billion from some special reserve lobby accounts to part fund this supplementary budget.
” But this is specifically related to COVID-19 vaccine, salaries and other health related expenditure as well as the recurrent component of the defence and security expenditures, ” she said.
Ahmed also said that the approval also contained the permission to borrow N722.53 billion for security expenditures, which will be from the domestic international capital market.