Buhari bans ministers, heads of agencies from travelling abroad over 2020 budget - THE GUARDIAN
By Solomon Fowowe
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has placed a travel ban on ministers and heads of agencies in order to ensure the swift defence of their proposed 2020 budget.
“Sequel to the presentation of the 2020 Appropriation Bill by Mr President to the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate suspension of international travels by all Cabinet Members and Heads of Government Agencies so as to enable Honourable Ministers personally lead the process of Budget defence at the National Assembly,” a statement by Willie Bassey, a director of information in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation said.
President Buhari presented the N10.33 trillion budget in a joint session at the national assembly on Tuesday.
“The suspension of such travels will enable Functionaries and Agencies of the Executive Arm to provide the required cooperation with the Legislature in order to ensure timely passage of the Appropriation Bill.”
The statement signed by the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation instructed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to cooperate with the committees of the National Assembly for their budget defence dates.
Buhari also instructed ministers who have already gotten travel approvals prior to the ban to “revalidate such approvals” after getting the schedule of appearances from the National Assembly.
The president has stated his intent for the country to run a January – December budget cycle.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan said the lawmakers would expedite action on the proposal.
“In order for timely passage, all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are expected to appear before the committees for the defence of their budget estimates within the month of October. We have earmarked the month of October to be the sole window for all budget defence activities, this year, by all MDAs.”