Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, says the leadership of the 9th Senate under him will seek the permission of President Muhammadu Buhari to bar ministers from overseas trip during budget defence
Senator Ahmed Lawan, who is one of those aspiring to lead the Senate, spoke with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday “the one month given to the ministers to appear before different committees in the Senate may also not attract plenary sitting in the National Assembly”.
The Senate leader also said that the ministers would only be permitted to travel outside the country only on health basis. This would be one of the ways of achieving a three-month passage of the budget after its presentation to the National Assembly by President Buhari
“Even though the budgeting issue varies from time to time, sometimes the calamity may last for three months, four months and sometimes upto seven months. He said.
Senator Lawan, said the Senate under his leadership would also plan to pass the budget before Christmas of each year. “We believe that we can turn this around with the true attitude and it takes the two sides of government, the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government.
We should not leave the coast of Nigeria for anything unless it is health problem in the First place, We must stay around, ensure we have a time outline for budget defence.
“When I say time frame, I mean we will devote one month for budget defence, no plenary unless it becomes absolutely necessary. We will approach the Executive arm of government and discuss things with them.
Senate Leader said “It will be a huge relief if we can achieve it. So, we will tell the Executive arm of government that no minister, no chief executive officer of any MDA should leave this country unless it is absolutely necessary and inevitable without defending his or her budget or the budget of the ministry.
“That one month window should be the only window for budget defence. If any minister or any chief executive officer fails without sound reasons to defend the budget of the ministry, then that window will be shut and the National Assembly should treat that proposal as it deems fit with all the necessary safeguards to ensure that there is no abuse.”