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Buhari bars ministers from embarking on foreign trips

Buhari with ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari has placed a temporary ban on foreign travels by all members of his cabinet and heads of government agencies.

This was announced Friday evening by Willie Bassey, the director of information in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The suspension of foreign travels, which is with immediate effect, is to enable ministers personally lead the defence of the 2020 budget before the National Assembly.

“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,” the statement said.

“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.

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“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.”

President Buhari had on Tuesday presented the year 2020 N10.33 trillion budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The president said the early presentation of the financial estimate to the National Assembly was to enable the country to return to the January-December budget cycle.

Shortly after the presentation of the budget, the Senate gave October 31 as the deadline for all government agencies to defend their budget estimates to enable the passage of the document in December.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said all Ministries, Departments and Agencies )MDAs) should appear before the committees for the defence of their budget estimates without delay.

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