President Bola Tinubu has issued a decree prohibiting the use of public funds for international travel by ministers, officials, and heads of agencies,Daily Trust reports.

The directive, communicated by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, in a letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, cited the current economic challenges and the imperative of prudent fiscal management as grounds for the temporary suspension of taxpayer-funded overseas trips.

Under the new directive, exemptions will only be granted with prior presidential approval, to be sought at least two weeks before the planned travel.

Tinubu expressed concerns over escalating travel costs incurred by government ministries, departments, and agencies, emphasizing the need for officials to concentrate on their core mandates for efficient service delivery.

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The temporary ban, effective for an initial period of three months starting from April 1, 2024, aims at curtailing expenditure in governance while maintaining operational efficiency.

All government officials intending to embark on international trips funded by the public purse must adhere to the prescribed approval process to ensure that such travels are deemed absolutely necessary.

This decision follows public backlash triggered by a recent overseas workshop organized by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) in London, UK, from March 4 to March 9, 2024, focusing on Public Financial Management and International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). The workshop, attended by state commissioners of finance and OAGF officials, drew criticism amidst the country’s ongoing forex crisis.


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