The Nigerian Senate has approved the supplementary budget bill sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari with N895 billion ($2.176 billion) approved to fund security agencies and purchase of Covid-19 vaccines for the country among other issues.
The passage follows the consideration and adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Appropriations on the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2021.
The Appropriations Committee Chairman, Senator Jibrin Barau in his presentation said the Joint Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives reached an agreement on the harmonised report on the supplementary appropriations bill to facilitate its eventual presentation.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan shortly after passage said the supplementary budget must be given thorough oversight by the relevant committees of the parliament on how the funds will be utilised.
According to Mr Lawan, it is a very “necessary intervention” for funding of security agencies because Nigeria must overcome its security challenges.
Buhari had on June 22, transmitted a supplementary Appropriation Bill of N895.842,465,917 billion to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
He explained that the proposed amount would be used to fund the COVID-19 vaccine programme; fund health related expenditures for treatment of additional 50,000 patients under the Nigeria Comprehensive AIDS Program in states.
“We will also procure additional equipment captured in this year’s capital expenditure on Defence and Security to tackle prevalent security challenges across the country”, Buhari had said in his executive communication to the National Assembly.
By Abel Ejikeme