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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Tinubu bans foreign trips for ministers, other appointees

By News Desk

As part of measures to reduce Federal Government expenses, President Bola Tinubu has placed a three months ban on all public-funded foreign trips by ministers and other government officials.

Tinubu said that Ministers and other government officials could be allowed to travel abroad considering that trip is deemed absolutely necessary to address issues that could hold back the growth and development of the nation’s economy.

This came barely two months after the president cut down the size of delegations for local and foreign trips, following concerns raised by Nigerians that the delegation accompanying him, the Vice President and other appointees on foreign and local trips we’re having adverse effects on Federal Government purse.

Tinubu gave the directive via a letter by his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

In the letter seen yesterday, Tinubu expressed concerns over the rising cost of foreign trips embarked upon by government officials amid Nigeria’s dire economic situation.

According to the letter dated 12 March 2024, the ban will last 90 days in the first instance and will come into effect on 1 April, 2024.

“Mr. President has concerns about the rising cost of travel expenses borne by Ministries, Department and Agencies of Government as well as the growing need for Cabinet Members and heads of MDAs to focus on their respective mandates for effective service delivery.

“Considering the current economic challenges and the need for responsible fiscal management, I am writing to communicate Mr Presideni’s directive to place a temporary ban on all public funded international trips for all Federal Government officials at all levels, for an initial period of three (3) months from Is April 2024.

“This temporary measure is aimed at cost reduction in governance and intended as a cost-saving measure without compromising government functions.”

Mr Tinubu said exemptions would need presidential approvals which must be sought two weeks ahead of the planned trip.

“All government officials who intend to go on any public funded international trips must seek and obtain Presidential approval at least two (2) weeks prior to embarking on any such trip, which must be deemed absolutely necessary,” the letter reads.

It would be recalled that former President, Muhammadu Buhari, also issued a travel ban to officials in 2019. However, that ban was to allow government officials appear before the National Assembly for budget defence.

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