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Buhari Reduces Travels, Estacodes For Ministers, Others

The federal government has announced several cost-cutting measures as a way of reducing the cost of governance and shoring up its dwindling revenue.

President Buhari on Wednesday reduced the number of foreign trips by ministers, permanent secretaries, chairmen of extra-ministerial departments, chief executive officers and directors, to not more than two in a quarter.

“Except with the express approval of Mr President, ministers, permanent secretaries, chairmen of extra-ministerial departments, chief executive officers and directors are restricted to not more than two foreign travels in a quarter,” the office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation said in a statement.
“They are further required to make their presentation using the existing template and also secure approvals on specific travels as contained in the plan, from the appropriate quarters.”

According to the statement, the approval is an additional cost-saving measure aimed at instilling financial discipline and prudence, particularly, in the area of official travels.

It also noted that public-funded travels – local and foreign – must be strictly for official purposes backed with documentary evidence.

“In this regard, all foreign travels must be for highly essential statutory engagements that are beneficial to the interest of the country,” read the statement.

The Office of the SGF also noted that when a minister is at the head of an official delegation the size of such delegation should 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.”

President Buhari also approved that ministers, permanent secretaries, special advisers, senior special assistants to the president, chairmen of extra-ministerial departments and chief executive officers of parastatals would continue to fly business class while other categories of public officers are to travel in economy class.

“Also, travel days will no longer attract payment of estacode allowances as the 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,” the statement stated.
“The Auditor-General of the Federation has been directed to treat all expenditures that contravene these guidelines as ineligible.”
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