A draft supplementary budget of N895 billion to boost military operations and facilitate procurement of COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by the federal executive council (FEC).

This was disclosed on Wednesday by the minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed while addressing journalists after the cabinet meeting in Abuja.

Recall that President Buhari on December 31 signed the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.59 trillion into law.

Buhari had presented the initial 2021 budget proposal of N13.08 trillion to a joint sitting of the national assembly on October 8.

But the lawmakers raised its total sum by N508 billion.

Ahmed said the supplementary budget contains an aggregate sum of N770.60 billion to enhance the capacity of the military in addressing current and emerging security challenges in the country.

She added that the budget also includes costs of 30 million COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson and Johnson and the logistics costs related to the deployment of the vaccines.

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“Today, the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning presented to 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,” she said.

“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, as well as 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.

“The council on that note approved the 2021 supplementary appropriation bill, in an aggregate expenditure of N895,842,462,917.

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“The total of this expenditure is made up of N83.56 billion for COVID-19 vaccine programme, covering 30 billion vaccines fromJohnson 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.”

Ahmed noted that the bill would be transmitted to the national assembly for approval.

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She added that the council also approved permission to borrow N722.53 billion for security expenditures.

“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 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.

“Finally, this approval also contains an approval to borrow the sum of 722.53 billion for security expenditures and these are the capital components of the security expenditure in the absence of any other additional supplementary sources of borrowing. This borrowing would be done from the domestic international capital market.”

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