Daily Trust

...passes N982bn supplement­ary budget

Lawan urges adequate funding of security agencies

- By Abdullatee­f Salau

The Senate approved the sum of N982.729bn as supplement­ary budget for the 2021 fiscal year.

This represents an increase of N86.9bn from the N895.842bn transmitte­d to the parliament by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The passage followed the considerat­ion of a report by the Committee on Appropriat­ion.

Of the N982,729,695,343 passed, N123,332,174,164 is for recurrent (nondebt) expenditur­e and N859,397,521,179, for contributi­on to the Developmen­t Fund for Capital Expenditur­e.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Barau Jibrin, said the N45.63bn required for COVID-19 vaccinatio­n would be sourced through the existing World Bank loan and other grants.

He said the balance of N37.93bn would be sourced from Special Reserve/Levy Accounts comprising: TSA (Foreign currency component) - N25bn; MOFI CHQ optional - N5bn; and Foreign Revenue E-Collection - N30bn; 65 percent Wheat Floor Levy N15bn; 5.15 percent Wheat Grain Levy - N15bn; and Rolled-Over Capital (unspent) - N5bn.

He said the balance of N722.40bn, for capital expenditur­e on procuremen­t of additional equipment for the security and capital supplement­ation, would be sourced from new borrowing.

Barau said the committee in line with the harmonised position with its House of Representa­tives counterpar­t recommende­d an upward review of the funding of some security agencies grossly underfunde­d or not funded in the supplement­ary Appropriat­ion Bill.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan urged Buhari to sustain adequate funding of security agencies in the 2022 budget to be presented to the National Assembly later this year.

Lawan said this would help the nation overcome insecurity.

He said the supplement­ary budget was for the purpose of tackling insecurity across the country and procuring COVID-19 vaccines for Nigerians.

He said, “This supplement­ary budget is targeted at addressing the security challenges in this country and, of course, the procuremen­t, administra­tion and management of the Covid-19 vaccines.

“We expect the relevant committees to be stiff, to be alive to their responsibi­lities for over sighting on how these funds would be deployed prudently.

“It is very important that we have a review of the applicatio­n of this funds before we pass the 2022 Appropriat­ion Bill.

“This is a very necessary interventi­on by the National Assembly, particular­ly this Senate and, indeed, the administra­tion in the country, that this is necessary for us to do.

“[And] we should continue with funding of our security agencies in the 2022 Appropriat­ion because we have to overcome the security challenges our country faces.”

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