Tinubu Imposes 3-Month Foreign Travel Ban on Ministers and others

President Tinubu
President TinubuGoogle Photo

President Bola Tinubu has announced a ban on ministers, heads of agencies, and other government officials from undertaking publicly funded foreign trips, which is anticipated to last for three months initially and will come into effect on April 1, 2024.

This information was contained in a letter dated March 12, 2024, signed by the Chief of Staff to the president, Femi Gbajabiamila, and addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

In January, Tinubu mandated a reduction in the number of individuals accompanying him on local and foreign trips, specifying that his delegation should not exceed 25 for local travels and 20 for international trips.

He also mandated that security agents at his destination should provide his protection rather than being accompanied by many security personnel from Abuja.

This came after the backlash he faced during and after the last twenty-eighth Conference of Parties (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates, where about 590 Nigerian officials attended.

In response to the public outburst, the government clarified that funding was allocated to only 422 out of the 590 individuals in the delegation.

The ban letter stated, “The President is concerned about the increasing travel expenses of Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, as well as the importance for cabinet members and heads of MDAs to concentrate on their specific mandates for better service delivery."

“Considering the current economic challenges and the need for responsible fiscal management, I am writing to communicate Mr President’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 months from Ist April 2024.”

Tinubu stated that government officials who plan to go on any publicly funded foreign trip must obtain presidential approval at least two weeks before the trip, which must be deemed 'absolutely necessary'.

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