President Muhammadu Buhari late Friday evening ordered that Ministers and heads of government agencies should not travel overseas for now as a fiscal imperative for the timely consideration and final passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill by the National Assembly.
The Presidential directive was contained in a statement signed by Mr. Willie Bassey, Director in the Information Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Specifically, the directive was given to enable ministers and the MDA heads defend their ministries and parastastals’ budgetary proposals at the National Assembly.
The statement reads :“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”, it added
In addition, it also directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to liaise with the relevant committees of the National Assembly for their Schedules of Budget defence.
It would be recalled that the leadership of the 9th National Assembly had over the past few days expressed the determination of lawmakers to ensure that the 2020 Appropriation Bill was passed latest by December this year.