With the determination of the National Assembly to ensure the 2020 budget is ready before the end of this year, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all his ministers and heads of departments, agencies and parastatals to suspend all foreign trips till further notice
This is sequel to the presentation of the 2020 Appropriation Bill by Mr President to the National Assembly last Tuesday.
A statement by Willie Bassey, director of information in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation said “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.
“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.
“Honourable Ministers who have already secured approval to travel are by this directive, required to revalidate such approvals with Mr. President after confirming the Schedule of Appearances with the relevant Committees of the National Assembly.
“Furthermore, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been directed to liaise with the relevant committees of the National Assembly for their Schedules of Budget defence.”
Late defence of budgetary proposals in combination with other factors have stalled passing of former budgets on time. The ninth Assembly has consistently maintained that it wants to return the fiscal timelines to the January to December cycle.