Senate cuts down Buhari’s entourage for budget presentation

Ahmed Lawan

The Senate has resolved that only those involved in budget preparation would accompany President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly on Thursday for the 2021 budget presentation.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan stated this on Wednesday during plenary, saying that COVID-19 protocols would be fully observed.

Lawan added that those who would not be admitted into the joint session may join virtually.

In the past, some governors, ministers, top presidential aides and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) accompanied Buhari to present the budget.

“The joint session normally takes place in the chamber of the House of Representatives,” Lawan said.

“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 out 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.

“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.”