OrderPaperToday – Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said the delay by the military to submit its aggregate budget needed for weapons purchase is the main reason why the proposed supplementary budget has not been forwarded to the National Assembly for approval.
Recall that the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, had met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House and pledged to raising a supplementary budget for the military and health sector to execute the fight against banditry, insurgency and covid-19 vaccination.
This is coming amid rising insecurity and emerging allegations of corruptions and diversions of monies meant for arms purchase by ex service chiefs.
The finance minister, who stated this a television programme on Wednesday, noted that “for the military hardware, we have met with the service chiefs and the Chief of Defence Staff. They are supposed to aggregate their request for review amongst themselves and then pass it to Mr. President, then it will be sent to us.
“So we are waiting for the information of the aggregate requirements before we forward the supplementary budget.”
Mrs. Ahmed equally reaffirmed that the supplementary budget also makes provision for COVID-19 vaccine, sayingL “Sometime in January, the President has based on the request by the Ministry of Health given in principle approval for the Ministry of Health to work with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to prepare and take to the National Assembly a supplementary budget for COVID-19 vaccination.”
Recall that resident doctors in Nigeria under the aegis of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has commenced a nationwide indefinite strike action on April 1st to push home their long-standing demand for the Federal Government to pay off outstanding arrears on salaries, medical hazard allowances and Covid-19 hazard allowances.