President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan has declared the full implementation of COVID-19 protocols during the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly, slated for Thursday by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Lawan stated that all aides of the President who are not directly involved in the budget process, would not be admitted into the Chambers.
He however stated that those who would be deprived entrance can virtually join the session.
Lawan remarks followed a motion by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North), on the floor of the Senate titled: “That the Senate and House of Representatives do sit in a joint session to receive an address by Mr. President Commander-In-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on Thursday, 8th October, 2020 at 11.00am on the 2021 Appropriation Bill.”
According to the Senate President, the budget presentation will last for approximately one hour.
“The joint session normally takes place in the chamber of the House of Representatives.
“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,” Lawan stated.
Governors, Ministers, top presidential aides and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) accompanying the President to present the budget was a normal routine in the past