Supplementary Budget For COVID-19 Vaccines Ready In March, Says Ahmed
The Federal Government is planning to prepare a supplementary budget that will cater to the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while speaking at the maiden edition of State House briefing held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday said the budget will be ready by March.
According to her, the supplementary budget will sent to the National Assembly for approval.
She stated, “There will be a supplementary budget; the first one will be in March relating the COVID-19 pandemic, but we will also have a mid-year review of the budget like we did last year.
“If at the time we do the review and there is a need to go back to do any amendment for supplementary budget, at that time, we will take that decision; if not, we will just report the review.”
Ahmed hinted that the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines would arrive the country next week.
She said, “We have a provision in the 2021 budget for immunisation. We are already releasing money to the health authorities to start operation in the first batch of vaccines that is going to arrive the country in one week.
“But what we have in the budget is not enough; so, we are working with the health authorities to provide a plan that will be taken to the President for approval and to be taken to the National Assembly as a supplementary budget specifically for COVID-19 vaccination.”
The minister reiterated that the level of Nigeria’s borrowing was not too high contrary to the general belief.
She stated, “There is a lot of sensitivity in Nigeria about the level of borrowing by the government and it is not misplaced.
“I said earlier that the level of borrowing is not unreasonable; it is not high. The problem we have is that of revenue. So, what we need to do is to increase revenue to be able to enhance our debt to GDP obligation capacity.”
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