Buhari, NASS leadership weigh supplementary budget for COVID, security

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met with President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to discuss a supplementary budget to fund COVID-19 vaccination and procure military hardware. 

After the meeting, Lawan told State House correspondents that both the executive and the legislature agreed that there should be a supplementary budget for the vaccination and security. 

“Both executive and legislative arms believe that we should have supplementary budget to provide for funding of the COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria, as well as the security, providing more resources and platforms to our security agencies. 

“And today, I’m sure in Nigeria, there are no more grave issues than COVID-19 and security situation in the country,” he said. 

Lawan said if more resources were available to security agencies, there would be an even faster recovery from insecurity ravaging the land. On COVID-19, he said the country should have some resources for local scientists to collaborate with their counterparts abroad to develop a Nigerian-based vaccine, as the nation cannot continue to rely on what other countries are doing now. 

He said: “Every nation to itself, that’s what is happening. The United States is not allowing vaccines to go out. EU is not allowing AstraZeneca vaccine produced in UK to be sent out of EU. India is not allowing AstraZeneca vaccine they produce to be exported out. “So, where do we go from here? We will have to fall back on our own capacities and abilities. We have great scientists in this country. We have many Nigerians outside Nigeria, who are also helping developing the vaccines in other countries. 

“So, why don’t you bring them home? Why don’t you put some resources so they will also produce ours locally here and take care of our population, and then, later other African countries, especially our neighbours?” 

Also speaking, Gbajabiamila noted that the new service chiefs had started well, adding that the special committee set up by the House would think of ideas to see how best to move forward in terms of security and submit its report to President Buhari.



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