OrderPaperToday – President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan has said the National Assembly will approve a supplementary budget for COVID-19 vaccines and outfitting security agencies in the country if the Executive sends a request.
The Senate President made this known after a joint meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, where both the executive and legislative arms agreed that there should be a supplementary budget to provide for funding of the COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria, as well as providing more resources and platforms to security agencies.
Dr. Lawan reiterated the willingness of the Legislature to endorse a supplementary appropriation bill, adding that “there will be clear-cut definition of how much is going for what, we’re not going to just give approval like that for a general thing. We want to see how the funds will be utilised. But it is mandatory that we provide more resources for our armed forces, and they’re doing well.”
Lawan also revealed that the National Assembly intervention on the security challenges in the country will be geared towards the approval of more funds.
Recall that allegation of diversion of funds meant for arms recently surfaced against ex-Military Chiefs.
The Speaker of the House Femi Gbajabiamila also commended the new Service Chiefs insisting that “they have hit the ground running”. The Speaker also renewed the commitment of the National Assembly to pass the much anticipated Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the end of April but however noted that the Easter and Ramadan recess might push back passage of the PIB a couple of weeks into the month of May.
President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to submit a supplementary budget to the National Assembly for more funds to be made available for the procurement of equipment to battle the insurgents, banditry and COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
Reporting by Kenneth Chinonso