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National Assembly limits number of visitors to accompany Buhari for 2021 budget presentation

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National Assembly embarks on one-month recess

The National Assembly has said that it would limit the number of people to accompany President Muhammadu Buhari to its chamber during the 2021 budget presentation on Thursday.

The president is usually accompanied to the National Assembly during budget presentation by a retinue of people, including ministers, aides, party leaders and some state governors.

However, speaking during the Senate plenary on Wednesday, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said owing to COVID-19 protocols, such practice in the past would not be allowed.

Lawan was responding to a motion entitled “That the Senate and House of Representatives do sit in a joint session to receive an address by Mr. President Commander-In-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on Thursday, 8th October, 2020 at 11.00am on the 2021 Appropriation Bill,” moved by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North).

“The joint session normally takes place in the chamber of the House of Representatives.

“It is going to be the same. It will take place there but by this time around because of the situation of COVID-19, we have made arrangements to observe social distancing in the Chamber.

“We also have to wear our face masks mandatorily. We are going to also abridge the entire event because we will be many there.

“So the entire event will last just about an hour. From the entry of the President into the chamber and addresses and the presentation and laying will be just an hour event so that we are able to comply with the requirements of the COvID-19 protocol.

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“Mr. President too, this time around, will not be accompanied by many people on the entourage.

“Only few people – very key and relevant to budget – will accompany Mr. President into the Chamber.

“I think by the arrangement those of them that have little to do with the budget will join virtually what will happen,” Lawan said.

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