President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the 2021 Supplementary Appropriation Bill submitted to the National Assembly in June.
Mr Umar El-Yakub, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting with the President on Monday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
President Buhari’s assent to the law facilitates the critical procurement of not just security equipment but the establishment of molecular laboratories, oxygen plants, and procurement of vaccines, particularly the J&J COVID-19 vaccines.
The Supplementary Appropriation Bill passed by the lawmakers amounted to a total of N982.72 billion.
In June, President Buhari asked lawmakers in both Senate and House of Representatives to approve a 2021 Supplementary Budget estimate of N895,842,465,917 in separate letters to the leadership of both chambers.
He had explained that the budget was to fund the procurement of equipment for the military, procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccines, and provision of additional funds for the Public Service Wage Adjustment in health and other sectors.
Thereafter, the lawmakers directed the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriation to work on the President’s request.
At a joint session of the lawmakers on July 7, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Jibrin Barau, as well as his counterpart in the House, Muktar Betara, submitted their reports.
The lawmakers went on to pass an increased sum of N982,729,695,343 as the approved 2021 Supplementary Budget estimate.
Of the figure, N123,332,174,164 was for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, and N859,397,521,179 was earmarked for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure for the year ending on December 31, 2021.