By Kunle Akinsola
To whip his ministers on line for early passage of 2020 budget by lawmakers, President Muhammadu Buhari has embargoed overseas travels by all ministers and heads of government parastatal gencies.
The suspension of such travels is to enable functionaries and agencies of the executive arm to provide the cooperation required by the legislature for timely passage of the Appropriation Bill presented last Tuesday by Buhari
He had presented N10.33 trillion ($33.8 billion) budget for 2020 to the lawmakers.
Buhari said the suspension was to enable Honourable Ministers to personally lead the process of budget defence at the National Assembly.
“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,” a statement by the Director, Information Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan said on Friday that ministers and other officials of government should take the budget defence seriously to facilitate early passage of the money bill latest by December.