HEALTH

“How Nigeria Spent N118.37bn on COVID-19 in 2020 – Finance Minister Reveals

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, on Tuesday disclosed that Federal Government of Nigeria spent N118.37 billion on the COVID-19 related capital project in the 2020 fiscal period.

She claimed this at a virtual public presentation of the approved 2021 budget.

She said out of the N1.8 trillion ploughed into capital projects which represents about 89 per cent of the provision made for capital project, N118.37 billion went into COVID-19 related capital spending.

She added that out of N600 billion allocated to the health sector in the 2021 budget assented by President Muhammadu Buhari, N380.21 billion was for recurrent expenditure, while N219.390 billion for capital expenditure.

The minister explained that N35.03 billion was provided in the budget for the implementation of the National Health Act (BHCFA), N45.19 billion for GAVI/Immunization.

Mrs Ahmed further said N2.2 billion was allocated for Polio Eradication Initiatives, N3.34 billion for the Procurement of RI, non-Polio Vaccine and operational cost as well as N2.5 billion for expanded midwives service scheme.

The minister also said N400 billion was allocated for Federal Government’s Special Intervention Programme, including Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment Programme, N-power Job Creation Programme and Conditional Cash Transfers among others.

Speaking on budget performance for 2020, she said while the Federal Government projected N9.97 trillion expenditure, it actually spent about N10.08 trillion which is representing 101 per cent performance.

Dissecting the budget further, Ahmed disclosed that debt servicing gulped N3.27 trillion, while N3.19 trillion was released for payment of salaries and pensions.

To finance the deficit in the 2021 budget, the Minister said that N709.69 billion will be raked from multilateral/bi-lateral loan drawdown, which will be added to the funds expected to be raised from borrowing and sale of public assets.

– Vanguard

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