FG approves N770bn supplementary budget for army, other security agencies

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a supplementary budget of N895 billion for 2021, out of which N770billion will go to the military and other security agencies.

Minister of Finance, Dr Zainab Ahmed, revealed this when she briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja on Wednesday.

She said the council approved 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 said the next step would be to present a bill to that effect to the National Assembly for approval, in line with constitutional provisions.

Ahmed added that the approval was based on the need for funding to ensure that Nigeria is able to meet its commitment under the Nigerian Comprehensive AIDS programme.

It was also based on the urgent need to specifically enhance the capacity of the military and para-military agencies to tackle the various security challenges in the country.

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

”The total of this expenditure is made up of N83.56 billion for COVID-19 vaccine programme, covering 30 Million vaccines from Johnson and Johnson and the logistics cost related to the deployment of the 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 minister said the council also gave approval to draw down on some existing World Bank loans totalling about N39.58 billion as part of the financing source for the supplementary budget.

“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 form 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.

Ahmed said that the approval also contained the permission to borrow N722.53 billion for security expenditures, which will be from the domestic international capital market.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, told the correspondents that he presented the first made in Nigeria cell phone to the president, before the commencement of Wednesday’s FEC meeting.

According to Adebayo, the phone is one of the 12 cell phones produced, using locally sourced components, by the Electrical/Electronics Technology Department of the Industrial Training Fund’s (ITF) Model Skills Training Centre

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