By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved a draft 2021 Supplementary Budget of N895,842,462,917 to cater for Defence equipment, COVID-19 vaccines and other exigencies.
Announcing this on Wednesday to State House Correspondents after the week’s virtual FEC meeting, Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said the largest chunk of the budget, being N770.60 billion, was planned for the acquisition of Defense equipment.
The minister said N83.56 billion was set aside as expenditure for COVID-19 vaccine programme, covering 30 million vaccines from Johnson and Johnson and the logistics costs related to the deployment of the vaccines.
She explained that the supplementary budget also has N40 billion for allowances to the Health, Education sectors and other wage-related matters.
There is also N1.69 billion for the Nigeria Comprehensive AIDS Programme, Mrs. Ahmed said.
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The minister explained that the Federal Government would draw from N39.58 billion to finance the supplementary budget, just as it will withdraw N135 billion from Special Levy Accounts for the same purpose.
“In line with this approval, we have also been given approval to draw down on some existing World Bank loans totaling about N39.58 billion as part of the financing source for this supplementary budget.
“We will be working with the World Bank to restructure some of the existing facilities to realise this N39.58 billion.
“We’ve also been given approval to withdraw N135 billion from some special reserve levy 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 Defense and Security expenditures.
“Finally, this approval also contains an approval to borrow N722.53 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,” she said.