President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed a supplementary budget of N982.7bn for 2021 to address urgent security and COVID-19 needs of the nation, before jetting off to the UK.
President Buhari who signed the Supplementary Appropriation Act, 2021 in his office at the State House, Abuja commended the National Assembly for the expeditious consideration and approval of the supplementary budget.
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He assured that the executive arm of government would ensure the timely delivery of capital projects to achieve the laudable objectives of the budget.
A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said of the amount, N123.3 million is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while the sum of the N859.3bn is for contribution to the Development Fund for the capital expenditure for the year ending on the 31st day of December 2021.
The brief ceremony was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Hon. Umar el-Yakub.
El-Yakub, who spoke on the essence of the supplementary budget, said it was targeted at providing infrastructure to all the military formations, including Defense, Civil Defense, Police and the Department of State Services (DSS).
“All the security outfits in this country will benefit from the bill because of Mr. President’s commitment to combating crimes and indeed, insurgency and all the security challenges facing the country.”
On the health sector, he said about 10 molecular laboratories would be established nationwide in addition to the rehabilitation and establishment of oxygen plants across the country as well as the “procurement of vaccines, including the J&J vaccine, which is a one-shot vaccine that had been approved by NAFDAC earlier in the year.”
The President had also earlier signed the Orthopedic Hospitals Management Board (Amendment) Act, 2021.
The statement issued yesterday by the presidential aide said “the Act amends the Orthopedic Hospitals Management Board Act Cap. O10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to provide for the establishment of the Orthopedic Hospital Jos, Plateau State under the control of the Orthopedic Hospitals Management Board affiliated to the Jos Teaching Hospital to provide specialised orthopedic treatment and medical services.”
President departs for UK
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday departed for the United Kingdom (UK) to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025.
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, in a statement, said President Buhari who was due to be back by the second week of August 2021, would spend a few days for an earlier scheduled medical check-up after the Summit.
Adesina said the President was accompanied to the summit by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of State Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
The statement said the summit to be co-hosted by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, would bring together Heads of State and Government as well as stakeholders and youth leaders.
The statement added that the summit would further provide a platform for partners to chart a way forward towards transforming education systems in partner countries, through the exchange of best practices.
“It will also offer the opportunity for leaders to make 5-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories,” the statement reads.
Deliberations at the summit, the statement added, will focus on The Power of Education –A Conversation between Global Champions; Transforming Education for Girls; Financing for Impact and Recovery and; What Now, Priorities for Transforming Education in the Coming Five Years, among others.
President Buhari will also hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It would be recalled that President Buhari had on June 25 postponed his medical trip to London indefinitely hours before the scheduled journey without giving any reason.
As president, Buhari has spent a total of 183 days receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment in London.
This is Buhari’s second medical visit to the UK in 2021.
On March 30, he traveled on a medical trip to London and returned to the country after two weeks.
Protesters had marched to the Nigerian Diplomatic Mission in London during the president’s visit in March.
They had asked him to return to the country and fix the system.
The president did not travel abroad all through 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.