President Tinubu Imposes Ban on Public Funded Foreign Trips for Government Officials

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President Bola Tinubu has taken a decisive step by instituting a three-month ban on ministers, heads of agencies, and other government officials from undertaking publicly funded foreign trips, effective from April 1, 2024. This directive, outlined in a letter dated March 12, 2024, and signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, is aimed at curbing excessive spending on foreign travels.

Earlier in January, President Tinubu had initiated measures to streamline official delegations, limiting the number of accompanying personnel on both local and foreign trips. The President mandated that his delegation members should not exceed 25 for local travels and 20 for international trips, emphasizing the need for efficient resource allocation.
The decision to impose these restrictions follows the scrutiny faced by President Tinubu after the participation of approximately 590 Nigerian officials at the twenty-eighth Conference of Parties (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates. In response to public criticism, the government clarified that funding was allocated for only 422 individuals out of the total delegation, highlighting the need for greater transparency and accountability in government expenditure.

The letter read, “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 the 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 Ist April, 2024. This temporary measure is aimed at cost reduction in governance and intended as a cost-saving measure without compromising government functions.” He added.

“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.” He concluded.

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