In a significant move to reduce costs, President Bola Tinubu has implemented a strict three-month ban on all foreign trips funded with public funds for ministers, heads of government agencies, and other officials.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Effective from April 1, 2024, the ban aims to curb the escalating expenses associated with international travel by ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) and ensure that cabinet members and heads of MDAs concentrate on their respective mandates for efficient service delivery.

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The directive was communicated through 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.

The letter attributed the temporary measure to the “current economic challenges and the need for responsible fiscal management.”

“Mr. President has concerns about the rising cost of travel expenses borne by Ministries, Departments, 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,” the letter stated.

This ban aligns with Tinubu’s broader initiatives to trim government spending and promote fiscal discipline.

Earlier in January, the President had issued an order to reduce the entourage accompanying him on both local and foreign trips, limiting the delegation size to 25 for domestic travels and 20 for international trips.

Under the new directive, any government official intending to embark on a public-funded foreign trip during the three months must obtain presidential approval at least two weeks in advance. Such trips will only be permitted if deemed “necessary.”

The letter underscored that the temporary measure is “aimed at cost reduction in governance and intended as a cost-saving measure without compromising government functions.”

The ban is anticipated to yield substantial savings for the Nigerian government and underscores Tinubu’s dedication to fiscal prudence and prioritizing service delivery over unnecessary expenditures.