2021: Senate set to approve N895.8bn supplementary budget

The Senate Wednesday passed for Second Reading a Supplementary Appropriation Bill of N895,842,465,917 forwarded to it on Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Expeditious consideration of  the Bill followed its  presentation to that effect  in a lead debate  by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi ( APC Kebbi North) during plenary.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday, requested the Senate to consider and approves the supplementary budget to help fight insecurity and purchase vaccines in tackling COVID- 19 pandemic.

Leading the debate, Yahaya Abdullahi said out of the figure, N173, 445, 506, 664 was for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while the sum of N722, 396, 959, 253 was for contribution to the Development Fund  for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on Dec. 31, 2021.
He said 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 a structured as well as other grants totalling 113.2 million US dollars.
“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 defense and security and capital supplementation from new borrowings in the absence of any supplementary revenue sources”, he explained.
Contributing, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba South), said since the issues in the budget were not controversial, support should be given for expeditious passage of the bill.
Also speaking, Senator Kabiru Barkiya (APC-Katsina), who decried that the 2020 appropriation for the military was N500 billion but only N30 billion was earmarked for equipment and little amount for recruitment, called for the speedy passage of the bill.
In his own contribution, Senator  Adamu Aliero (APC-Kebbi Central), said: “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 carter for Nigerians.”
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, thereafter, referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for further legislative action, and to report back on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.