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Economic crisis: Tinubu bars govt officials from foreign trips

President Bola Tinubu has banned public funded international trips for ministers, officials and heads of agencies. Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, conveyed…

President Bola Tinubu has banned public funded international trips for ministers, officials and heads of agencies.

Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, conveyed the directive in a letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

The letter cited the “current economic challenges and the need for responsible fiscal management” as reasons for the temporary ban on international travel funded by taxpayers.

Tinubu said exemptions would need presidential approvals which must be sought two weeks ahead of the planned trip.

The letter 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 (3) months from Is 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 (2) weeks prior to embarking on any such trip, which must be deemed absolutely necessary.”

The development comes after a recent overseas trip by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) sparked reactions.

The OAGF held a workshop on Public Financial Management and International Public Sector Accounting Standards in London, UK.

It held at Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington London, between March 4 and March 9, 2024.

The workshop, titled “Public Financial Management and IPSAS,” brought together state commissioners of finance and officials from the OAGF.

Nigerians had expressed reservation over the workshop at a time the country is battling forex crisis.

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