Nigeria has no provision for COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 Budget, says Finance Minister

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said that there was no provision in the 2021 Budget to fund the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines.

The minister, during a virtual presentation of the 2021 Budget in Abuja, however, explained that the federal government is working on the type and quantity of COVID-19 vaccines to procure, while her ministry and the Ministry of Health will meet to finalise an amount to be allocated to vaccine procurement within the next two weeks.

Also, the 2020 Finance Act recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari has exempted workers within the minimum wage bracket of N30, 000 from personal income tax.

The Act, which amended no fewer than 14 different fiscal laws, now extends the implementation of the Public Procurement Act to the National Assembly and the judiciary.

Nigeria is expected to receive about 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of January.

In addition, the country, under phase two of its COVID-19 vaccination scheme, will get 42 million extra doses of vaccines through the COVAX facility.

The federal government is targeting to vaccinate about 40 per cent of Nigeria’s population in 2021.

Ahmed expressed the commitment of the National Assembly to provide a supplementary budget for additional spending on COVID-19 vaccines, if needed.

She said: “We agreed that the effort needed to be done so that we have clarity as to whether the provisions in the budget will be adequate or we have to make additional provisions by way of a special supplementary budget to make more provisions for COVID-19 vaccinations.” – Thisday.

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