Buhari Reduces Foreign Trip Of Government Officials
In a move to instil financial discipline and prudence, President Muhammadu Buhari has reduced foreign trips and durations for Ministers and other government officials.
The President action is to address leakage and wastage of many governments officials and management of resources.
This was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation Willie Bassey.
The new directive means that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDs) will henceforth submit their yearly travel plans for statutory meetings and engagements to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for clearance within the first quarter of the fiscal year.
But Mr Buhari approved business class for ministers and economy class for junior officials.
The officials are to apply the existing template and seek approval before embarking on any specific travels.
“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.
“For the 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 in economy class.
“Travel days will no longer attract payment of estacode allowances as the 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.”
Buhari urged that officials must embark on trips that benefit Nigerians.
“On the nature and frequency of travels, all public-funded travels (local and foreign), must be strictly for official purposes backed with documentary evidence. In this regard, all foreign travels must be for highly essential statutory engagements that are beneficial to the interest of the country.
“Except with the express approval of Mr President, ministers, permanent secretaries, chairmen of extra-ministerial departments, chief executive officers and directors are restricted to not more than two foreign travels in a quarter. The Auditor-General of the Federation has been directed to treat all expenditures that contravene these guidelines as ineligible.”