2022 Review (3): Despite lower budget compared to 2021, Buhari had 16 foreign trips in 2022


Since January 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari has been abroad for different reasons ranging from meetings to healthcare on sixteen occasions.
Two of Buhari’s foreign trips were for medical vacations in London that lasted a combined twenty-eight days. Due to the higher number of travels in 2022 compared to 2021 and the increase in airfare brought on by the Nigerian aviation fuel crisis, the President’s expenses may have exceeded what was budgeted.
Buhari frequently defended his international medical travels by saying that he “had utilized the same medical staff for almost 40 years,” according to Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Advisor on Media and Publicity.
Compared to the N1.7 billion allocated for his international trip in 2021, the President’s 2022 travel budget was reduced to N200 million lower at N1.5 billion in the 2022 appropriation bill.
Although the amount spent on the President’s medical examinations is unclear, the Buhari administration has set aside at least N33.3bn for the State House’s medical infrastructure over the past eight years.
Budget documents for the time under consideration showed that State House Medical Center received N8.35 billion, while generic “medical expenses” devoured N308.26 million.
This covers both ongoing expenses like “the acquisition of health/medical equipment, medications, and medical supplies” and capital projects like the building of the presidential wing of the State House Medical Center, which is due to be finished this month.
Over 60 days of Buhari’s time have been spent away from Nigeria only this year.
Travels by Buhari during this period have taken him to Ethiopia, Belgium, Gambia, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, France, Kenya, Portugal, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, United States of America (USA), Turkiye, The United Arab Emirates (UAE), and The United Kingdom (UK).
The President made numerous trips abroad during this time, including stops in Addis Ababa, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Some Nigerians have given the President the title “minister of foreign affairs” as a result of his frequent travels abroad.
On February 15, 2022, the president of Nigeria departed for the Belgian city of Brussels to attend the sixth Europe-Africa Summit.
While visiting Belgium, the President called for a new accord that would give the needs of the governments of Africa and the continent of Africa priority.
He made the case that Africans should be given greater possibilities at home as better alternatives to their desperate voyages via the Mediterranean should be made available.
He maintained that by giving Africans more chances at home, better alternatives to desperate voyages via the Mediterranean should be made available.
Buhari and his African counterparts had attended the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, about a week before traveling to Belgium.
The gathering concentrated on the most pressing problems facing the continent, namely the recent wave of coups in West Africa and the slow response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
In March, the President traveled to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, to attend the UN Environmental Program’s 50th anniversary.
He took a flight from Abuja to London, England, for a two-week medical visit same month.
On May 9, Buhari departed for a second journey to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where he would attend a United Nations conference on the future of the land, which will cover issues such as rights, restoration, rights violations, and the effects on the national and international economy.
Ten days later, upon the loss of Sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan, the country’s former leader, and the city’s ruler, he was in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, paying his respects to Sheikh Mohamed Al Nahyan, the nation’s new president.
On May 27, the President took a flight from Abuja to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to attend the security-related African Union Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.
A three-day summit on migration, refugees, returnees, and internally displaced people was held from May 26 to May 28.
Four days later, on May 31, President Buhari left for a three-day state visit to Madrid, Spain.
Buhari, who was in Spain on an official visit at Pedro Sanchez’s request, also met with King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, and they spoke Nigeria-Spain relations.
On June 4, he traveled to Accra, Ghana, to take part in the extraordinary summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in Mali and other parts of the sub-region.
In addition, President Buhari departed Abuja for Kigali, Rwanda, on June 22 to attend the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which would be held from June 20 to June 26, 2022.
At the CHOGM 2022, he and other world leaders took part in debates about the growth and welfare of the more than two billion people living in the 54 independent Commonwealth nations dispersed across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe, and the Pacific.
After completing a three-day state visit at the request of President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, he spent five days in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.
It will be the last time Buhari attends the UNGA while serving as President of Nigeria he spent nine days at the 77th session of the UNGA in September.
On October 31, after flying back to Abuja, he traveled to London, England, for a two-week medical appointment. He returned to the country on November 13, 2022.
Meanwhile, the President’s latest travel is to Washington, United States, alongside other African leaders at the United States-Africa Leaders’ Summit.
He departed Nigeria on Sunday, 11 December, for a high-level meeting at the instance of United States President Joe Biden, who seeks more pragmatic ways to foster new economic engagement and work with African governments to advance peace, security, and good governance.
He returned on Sunday, December 18.

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