Tinubu, ministers


President Bola Tinubu has declared a three-month suspension of government-funded overseas travel for ministers, heads of agencies, and other government officials.

The prohibition is set to commence on April 1, 2024, and will initially last for a period of three months

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

According to the letter, the purpose of the ban was to cut down on governance expenses.

What the president said

The letter indicating the ban read in part,

  • “Mr President has concerns about the rising cost of travel expenses borne by Ministries, Department and Agencies of Government as well as the growing need for cabinet members and heads of MDAs to focus on their respective mandates for effective service delivery.
  • “Considering the current economic challenges and the need for responsible fiscal management, I am writing to communicate Mr Presideni’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.”

Moreover, Tinubu mentioned that for any publicly funded foreign travel, government officials are required to secure approval from the presidency at least two weeks prior, with the stipulation that the trip is ‘necessary’.

  • “This temporary measure is aimed at cost reduction in governance and intended as a cost-saving measure without compromising government functions.
  • “All government officials who intend to go on any public funded international trips must seek and obtain Presidential approval at least two weeks before embarking on any such trip, which must be deemed necessary,” the letter added.

What you should know

President Tinubu has embarked on a campaign to reduce government expenses, ordering the implementation of the Orasanye report.

  • This development followed a public uproar over the disclosure that around 590 associates joined him at a summit in Dubai, UAE, in January.
  • In reaction to the public’s outrage, the government stated that it only financed 422 of the 590 people in the delegation.
  • Additionally, in January, Tinubu mandated a cutback on his entourage for both domestic and international journeys, stipulating no more than 25 people for local trips and 20 for overseas travel.
  • Furthermore, he ordered that his security should be managed by local agents at his destinations, instead of travelling with numerous security personnel from Abuja.


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