Insecurity: FG To Fund 80.6% Of N895.84bn Supplementary Budget With Fresh Borrowing

  • Targets 70% COVID-19 Vaccination by 2022
  • Buhari To Present Next Year’s Budget Sept

Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, on Tuesday sent a supplementary Appropriation Bill via a June 15, 2021 letter addressed to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, seeking approval of the nation’s Senate for N895,842,465,917 in this fiscal year.

President Buhari in the letter read at the commencement of plenary, explained that N722.4bn or 80.63% of the amount is earmarked “for capital expenditure on defence, security and capital supplementation from new borrowings, in the absence of any supplementary revenue sources.

Continuing, he told the Senate, according to the statement by Ezrel Tabiowo, Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate, “we propose to fund N45.63bn of the N83.56bn required for the COVlD-19 vaccine programme by drawing on existing World Bank loans (which would be restructured) as well as Other Grants totalling US$113.22 million.

“The balance of N37.93bn required for COVlD-19 vaccines, salaries and other health-related expenditures totalling N41.69bn and the N48.2bn recurrent component of defence/security expenditure will be funded by drawing N135bn from some Special Reserve/Levy Accounts, which will be captured as revenues to the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).”

He was also quoted as noting that Nigeria’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 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.”

President Buhari further explained that “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.

“However, the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) have now developed a Covid-19 vaccine programme for the country.”

Under the vaccine programme, the President said the Federal Government hopes to vaccinate up to 70% of eligible Nigerians between this year and next.

“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.

“It is also necessary to provide additional funds for Public Service wage Adjustment to cater for sundry wage-related issues in the health and other sectors, which if not resolved can add to the prevalent sense of instability in the polity.

“Understandably, needs currently abound in many other sectors. However, we have limited the supplementary budget proposal to just these critical and emergency areas of need due to our severe fiscal constraints.

“All other needs would be deferred to the 2022 budget, which we plan to present in September of this years,” he assured.