President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday barred all ministers and heads of federal agencies from travelling abroad pending their defence of the 2020 budget before the National Assembly.
A statement issued in Abuja by Mr Willie Bassey, Director Information, Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the order was with immediate effect.
He said the suspension of such travels will enable the ministers and heads of agencies provide the information the legislature needs to pass the 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,” the statement read.
“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.
All foreign trips approved before the directive were cancelled while the ministers affected were asked to revalidate their approvals.
“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,” the statement read.
“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.”