godwinringroad2

 

godwin3

Articles

Has President Buhari Violated Budgetary Provision For Foreign Trips?

Does President Buhari violate budgetary provision for foreign trips from 2015 to date? Has he violated Nigeria’s constitution by his foreign trips? And there is no evidence from the National Assembly that President Muhammadu Buhari has overstressed that budget. How many times does President Muhammadu Buhari travel in a month? How many times does President Muhammadu Buhari travel in a quarter? There is no need for us to write things for the sake of writing them. That number of president foreign trips has no substance and cannot be proven by anything. In any case, the government has a budget for President’s travels which he has not violated. These foreign trips have huge economic value to the people of Nigeria. These trips have produced great human impacts and great use of tax payers’ money.

State visits are a key diplomatic tradition and the highest-ranking form of diplomatic exchange, as only heads of state qualify for the lavish public ceremony. President Muhammadu Buhari has been rated high for his effort in building relationships believed to have helped lighten the burden of Nigeria dealing with many challenges including insurgency in the northeast. The diplomatic shuttles by President Buhari paid off as many of the countries he visited now partner with Nigeria in various sectors of the economy. “Although Boko Haram’s tEdobook ism has not been completely defeated, it has been significantly decimated.

President Muhammadu Buhari is to spend a total of N1.001 billion on both local and foreign trips this year. Specifically, the president would spend N751.296 million travelling around the world and N250.021 million locally. Also, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo will spend N217.060 million on foreign travels and another N83.74 million on local travels.

Under former President Jonathan, the budget for the President’s foreign trips for 2014 was increased sharply. This was contrary to the promise made by the President on the heels of the protest that trailed the fuel subsidy removal in 2012 that his foreign trips would be reduced drastically in 2014.In 2012, N684.74m was budgeted for Jonathan’s foreign travels while N1.289billion was earmarked for the same purpose in 2013.“I have directed that overseas travels by all political office-holders, including the President, should be reduced to the barest minimum. The size of delegations on foreign trips will also be drastically reduced; only trips that are absolutely necessary will be approved,” the President had said. But checks showed that as of press time, Jonathan had jetted out of the country a record 21 times in 2014.In all, the President had visited about 19 countries in 2014 alone.

From February, 2010 when he became the Acting President to December 2010 alone, Jonathan spent N970.891m on foreign travels. Although the 2011 budget was silent on the expenses for the President foreign travels, investigations showed that about N1.7bn was spent on foreign trips. According to the 2011 budget, N1.145bn was budgeted for Vice-President Namadi Sambo’s foreign trips. In 2012, N684.74m was budgeted for Jonathan’s foreign travels and he had travelled out of the country 19 times.

Cost of trips: In this year’s budget, President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo got an allocation of N1.3 billion for travels, while N3.3 billion was proposed for their trips in the 2020 Appropriation Bill. Nigerian leaders usually visit the US mainly with a retinue of aides to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. But President Buhari’s foreign trips have drawn criticisms because of its frequency, especially in the past two months. From Saturday, September 14, 2019 till date, the president has travelled to Ouagadougou, New York (for the 74th UNGA), Japan, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the UK with selected governors and ministers.

International trips made by presidents of Nigeria have become a valuable part of our foreign policy. He made multiple long distance trips abroad by plane, each one an offshoot of diplomatic interactions. Constitutional law scholars have extracted three offices in the constitutional language. First, the President is a Chief Executive of the Federation. He has responsibility to manage and administer the federal government. As the Chief Executive, the President hires and fires, and coordinates the national economy. The second position is as Commander-in-Chief. As Commander-in-Chief, the President has responsibility to secure the federation and marshal the Armed Forces of the Federation to protect its territorial integrity. The third office is the Sole Organ. The President as Sole Organ represents the federation in foreign relations. Exercising the functions of this, office the President negotiates with foreign entities and signs treaties that create external obligations for the country.

A major topical point of reference among many Nigerians is the president’s frequent foreign trips, and what may have accrued to the nation’s resources from such trips, in comparison to the prevailing national situation. This has obviously attracted the scrutiny of both adversaries and supporters of the president from across the country, and perhaps even beyond. If there is evidence that President Buhari has violated budgetary provision for foreign trips, please go to court.

President Buhari has visited 40 countries, spending 407 days. Out of these, his trip to London, the United Kingdom, where he usually goes for medical treatment, have taken 242 days. From the records, Buhari’s predecessors also had their share of foreign trips. From 1999 to 2007, former president Olusegun Obasanjo made 139 trips to 97 countries, including India (January 2000), South Korea (July 2000), India (November 2004), Indonesia (October 2007), United Kingdom, Germany, and France among others. Obasanjo travelled to the United States eight times.

Mr President by his diplomatic shuttles is acting like a true father who is genuinely shopping for investments for his children amid limited financial resources. This is especially so when he had during the 2019 Democracy Day, publicly proclaimed a vision to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. “This means using diplomatic channels to reign in international friends of Nigeria for assistance, as he did at the United Nations General Assembly when he canvassed for a Marshal Plan for Africa.

For me, the most interesting aspect is that he has opened Nigeria in the best foreign interest of our dear nation for all to invest in – covering Africa, Europe, China, America, Russia, and the Middle East. He works with both capitalists, liberals, communists and socialists, thus reflecting the multi-ethnic and plural Nigeria.

I view those who oppose his diplomatic shuttles as those who envy Mr President’s uncommon global acceptability, these are the same people who frowned when in less than two months of his assumption of office in 2015, a red carpet reception was accorded him by the then President Barak Obama. Otherwise, there’s no way to alleviate gross poverty and gross unemployment in the land without global outreach

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Inwalomhe Donald writes from Abuja via inwalomhe.donald@yahoo.com...

Read more

BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has sworn in Dr. Patrick Okundia as the new Commissioner for...
BENIN CITY – The Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejected all the purported decisions of the National...
ASABA – Suspected armed Bandits on Thursday stormed the Federal Technical College, Asaba, Delta State robbed the female students and stabbed a...
BENIN CITY – The outgoing Chief Judge of Edo State, Hon. Justice Esohe Frances Ikponmwen, yesterday, commissioned the newly constructed Oredo Magistrate...
BENIN CITY – Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, has described the decisions...
BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has presented a budget proposal of N177.601bn to the Edo State...
BENIN CITY – The Executive Council of the Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has ratified the suspension...
BENIN CITY – The Chairman of Oredo Local Government Council, Honourable Jekins Osunde Evbareke has commended the Edo Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki...
BENIN CITY – The Edo House of Assembly on Wednesday confirmed Mrs Esther Edigin as the new Chief Judge designate of...
BENIN CITY – The Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, has said...

goedogeh