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Nigeria’s Buhari reduces foreign trips of ministers to cut cost

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has reduced the number of foreign trips his ministers will embark on as well as their duration.

The President is reported to have taken the action which covers other categories of government officials as part of ‘cost-saving measure’.

Nigeria is struggling to reduce its fiscal deficit and the move is intended to help address the crisis.

A statement from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation said President also removed travel allowances, cut down on the number of persons permitted to travel with ministers and other government officials for official trip.

The statement said, “In a bid to curb leakages and ensure efficiency in the management of resources of government, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved for immediate implementation, additional cost saving measures aimed at instilling financial discipline and prudence, particularly, in the area of official travels.

“Henceforth, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies are required to submit their yearly travel plans for statutory meetings and engagements to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and/or the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation for express clearance within the first quarter of the fiscal year, before implementation.

“Also, when a minister is at the head of an official delegation, the size of such delegation shall not exceed four, including the relevant director, schedule officer and one aide of the minister.

“Every other delegation below ministerial level shall be restricted to a maximum of three.

Business and economy class

Surprisingly President Buhari approved the use of business class for ministers, something some citizens were hoping is changed to economy class.

Lower categories of government officials however will fly economy class during foreign trips.

The statement gave details saying “For class of air travels, the President has approved that ministers, permanent secretaries, special advisers, senior special assistants to the President, chairmen of extra-ministerial departments and chief executive officers of parastatals who are entitled, to continue to fly business class while other categories of public officers are to travel on economy class.

“Travel days will no longer attract payment of estacode allowances as duration of official trips shall be limited to only the number of days of the event as contained in the supporting documents to qualify for public funding.”



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