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A Supplementary Bill for an Act to authorise the issuance of N895,842,465,917 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation has scaled second reading in the Senate.

This followed the presentation of the lead debate by the Senate Leader, Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi, during plenary on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday requested Senate’s consideration and approval of the supplementary budget to help fight insecurity and purchase vaccines in tackling COVID-19 pandemic.

Leading the debate, Abdullahi said that out of the figure, N173,445,506,664 was for Recurrent (non-debt) Expenditure, while N722,396,959,253 was for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on Dec. 31, 2021.

He said that the 2021 Supplementary Budget was needed to fund defence, security and health-related expenditure.

“It is also for treatment of additional 50,000 patients under the Nigerian Comprehensive Aids Programme in States (NCAPS).

“We propose to fund N45.63 billion of the N83.56 billion required for the COVID-19 vaccine programme by drawing on existing World Bank loans which will be structured as well as other grants totalling 113.2 million US dollars.

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“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 will 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 defence 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.

“The availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the procurement terms was 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.”

In his contribution, Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba) urged the quick passage of the bill since issues around the budget were not controversial.

On his part, Sen. Kabiru Barkiya (APC-Katsina), who said that the 2020 appropriation for the military was N500 billion but with only N30 billion earmarked for equipment and little amount for recruitment called for the speedy passage of the bill.

“With the supplementary budget, I hope that majority of it will be used for military equipment to fight insecurity and also for staff recruitment.”

For Sen. Adamu Aliero (APC-Kebbi) “The country is in severe distress as far as security is concerned.

“The intervention of the Federal Government is timely. Vaccination of Nigerians is below four per cent. It is good adequate provision is made to cater for Nigerians.”

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, thereafter referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Appropriation for further legislative action to report back on June 29.

(NAN)

Vanguard News Nigeria

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