HomeNewsTinubu Bans Ministers, Aides From Foreign Trips For 3 Months

Tinubu Bans Ministers, Aides From Foreign Trips For 3 Months

President Bola Tinubu has slammed a three-month ban on government sponsored-funded foreign trips for ministers, heads of agencies and government officials.

The ban takes effect from April 1, 2024.

It comes in the wake of harsh criticism of a workshop organised in the UK for government officials in an era of a dwindling Naira, whose value collapsed by over 100 percent since Tinubu took over on May 29 and immediately announced the merging of the official and parallel forex markets.

The new travelling policy was announced in a letter of March 12, 2024, signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, and addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

Gbajabiamila’s letter highlighted concerns about the increasing travel expenses of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.

Excerpts from the letter stated: “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. President’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 months from 1st April 2024.

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

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

It follows an earlier January 2024 memo in which Tinubu ordered that the number of those accompanying him on local and foreign trips be reduced.

That reduction in travelling delegation came in the wake of outcries in the media about his bloated travelling companions and elongated motorcade and convoy.

According to that memo, for local travels, the President’s delegation should not exceed 25, while limiting those with him on foreign trips to 20.

Furthermore, Tinubu mandated that his security at the travel destination should be catered for by the local agents on ground instead of all the way from Abuja.

He had particularly attracted criticisms over his show at the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates, where some 590 Nigerian officials were in attendance.

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