President Muhammadu Buhari has reduced the number and duration of foreign trips for ministers and other categories of government officials in a move described as ‘cost-saving measure’ to achieve fiscal prudence.
In a statement by the Director of Information at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey, the President also removed travel allowances known as estacode; while also cutting down on the number of persons permitted to travel with ministers and other government employees for official trips.
Buhari however, approved the use of business class for ministers and economy class for lower categories of government officials.
Approval for such trips must be sought through the office of the SGF or Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
The statement reads, “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.
“Travel days will no longer attract payment of estacode allowances as 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.”