Tinubu bans all ministers, appointees from foreign trips

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President Bola Tinubu has restricted ministers, agency heads, and other government officials from undertaking publicly funded foreign trips.

The ban will last for three months in the first instance and will take effect on April 1, 2024, Punch Newspaper reports.

This directive was outlined in a letter dated March 12, 2024, signed by the President’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, and directed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

In January, Tinubu issued an order to cut down on the number of individuals accompanying him on both domestic and international journeys, specifying that his entourage should not surpass 25 for local travel and 20 for international trips.

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He also mandated that security agents at his destination should provide his protection instead of being accompanied by many security personnel from Abuja.

This came following the backlash he faced during and after the last twenty-eighth Conference of Parties (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates, which about 590 Nigerian officials attended.

Responding to the public outburst, the government said it provided funding for only 422 out of the 590 individuals in the delegation.

The letter indicating the ban read in part, “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 months from Ist April 2024.”

The ban, according to the letter, was aimed at reducing costs in governance.

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

Tinubu added that government officials who intend to go on any public funded foreign trip must seek and get presidential approval at least two weeks before embarking on any such trip, which must be ‘deemed absolutely necessary’.

It 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.”



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