The President of Nigeria Bola Tinubu has moved to cut down on official travel expenses after he slashed the retinue for international and local travel by 60%.
The development was disclosed by presidential spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale during a Press Briefing with State House correspondents on Tuesday.
According to Ngelale, the directive is a method for reducing the presidency’s expenditure, and all government officials, including the president, vice-president, first lady, ministers and heads of agencies in the country.
“President Tinubu has directed that all state entourages be drastically reduced. This is not a request. It is a directive. The office of the president and staff will be affected. Vice-president, appointees are affected,” the presidential spokesperson said.
“By this directive, there will be a slashing of expenditure on official travel by 60 percent.”
“President Tinubu has, by his most recent directive approved a massive cost cutting exercise that will touch across the entire federal government of Nigeria and the offices of the President himself, the Vice President and the office of the First Lady. It will be conducted in the following fashion,” he said.
“One, the official trips that will be undertaken within the country that is when Mr. President or the Vice President travels to any state within the country, the massive bills that accrued due to allowances and estacode for security detail coming from Abuja going and traveling into those states, will be massively cut due to the directive of the President, that the security outfits within states, whether it be police DSS, or branches of the military, will frontline his protective detail when he travels to those states, a major cost cutting initiative that will affect the Office of the Vice President as well as the office of the First Lady.
“Additionally, when any international travel is being approved, the following limits have been placed on all ministers of the federation.
“Four members of their staff, appointees and the like will be allowed to travel with a minister on official trip. For heads of agency that will be limited to two members of staff allowed to travel on an official trip.
“Henceforth, the president is insistent that the notion of government wastage, the notion of recurrent expenditure being in excess, the notion that government officials will be allowed to conduct their affairs in a way that is different from what we are asking of Nigerian citizens with respect to prudence and cost Management, those days are over.
“The President is insistent that the prudence of government officials must reflect the prudence and efficiency of the Nigerian citizens and this is the directive of the President,” Ngelale said.
“The same applies to the office of first lady while that of the wife of the vice-president is entitled to five international and 10 for local trips.”
The break-down on retinue for International and local trips
Following the directive, the President is entitled to twenty persons during foreign trips, the Vice President and First lady are each entitled to five persons, Ministers get four persons, and Chief Executive Officers of agencies two persons each.
Meanwhile, for travels within the country, the President moves with twenty-five persons, Vice -president fifteen persons, and the First lady ten persons.
Security personnel within states are also directed to ensure the security of the President and other top government officials who go on trips in their states of duty.
The President’s directive comes a month after the 28th United Nations annual climate change conference, (COP28) that held in Dubai. The federal government came under fire for expending not less than N2.7 billion to sponsor 1,411 delegates to the event.