President Bola Tinubu has slashed the expenditure on all official travel, domestic and international trips by 60 per cent.
For foreign trips, the President will be accompanied by – 20 persons, while the Vice President will have just five persons and the First Lady will also have five persons, respectively.
For local trips, the President will be accompanied by 25 persons, the Vice President 15 persons while the First lady will have 10 persons.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who briefed State House Correspondents of the latest development, revealed that 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:.
According to the presidential media aide, 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.
He said 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.
Ngelale also added that 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. Furthermore, the numbers that the President has now approved for official travel with him that will apply to his principal staff are as follows: on international trips the president has directed that no more than 20 individuals be allowed to travel with him.
“That number will be cut down to five in the case of the First Lady. Additionally, the number in the entourage on official international trips for the Vice President will be cut to five, the number that will be placed as a limit on the wife of the Vice President is also five.
He explained that in terms of local trips, the President has approved a new limit of 25 members of staff to accompany him on domestic trips within the country.
He confirmed that the Office of the First Lady is now limited to 10 staff members to accompany her on official trips within the country. The Vice President will be limited to 15 members of staff on official trips within the country, while his wife will be limited to 10 members of staff on officials within the country, the same as the first lady.
His words, “It is pertinent to note that there is a difference between the number of members of staff allowed to travel with the presiding officials to international trips and those that are allowed for domestic. You will find that the numbers on international trips are less than those allowed on domestic trips. This is because international trips are far more expensive across the board and the President is determined to bring total sanity and prudence to the management of the Commonwealth of our people.
“As a result of this, the President has directed that every federal MDA also including the office of the president itself and the Office of the Vice President as well as the offices of the first and Second Ladies, are affected and bound by this directive of the president.
“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 Nigerian citizens and this is the directive of the President. Thank you very much.”
Asked if this new directive on restrictions will come in form of an executive order, Ajuri simply replied, “With respect to the adherence to this most recent directive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I believe we do not need to convince the officers of the federal government of Nigeria of the seriousness of the president with respect to how he will implement his directives.
“If there is anybody who feels that the directive of the President is not binding on them and who feels that the President will not uphold this directive in implementation and seeks to test it, they will do so at their own peril.”