President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, ordered a 60 per cent reduction in his travel expenses and number of officials on his entourage to any state and trips abroad.
The cost-cutting measure, Tinubu explained, cuts across his office, Vice President’s office, as well as that of the First Lady and wife of the Vice President.
He said: “The notion of government wastage, the notion of recurrent expenditure being in excess, the notion that government officials will be allowed to conduct their affairs in a way that is different from what we are asking of Nigerian citizens with respect to prudence and cost management, those days are over.”
In the new development, the President said henceforth, only 20 persons would accompany him on any official foreign trip.
He pegged the number of officials accompanying the Vice President and wife of the President on official trips abroad at five persons respectively.
The President approved 25 persons for his office, 15 for the Vice President and 10 for office of the First Lady on official trips to any state within the country.
Offering more insight into the new arrangement, presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, explained that the directive was to trim the massive bills that accrue from allowances and estacodes for delegations, including security details coming from Abuja.
His words: “The massive bills that accrued from allowances and estacodes for security details coming from Abuja and travelling into those states will be massively cut due to the directive of the President.
“The security outfits within states, be it police DSS or branches of the military, will frontline his protectives when he travels to those states, a major cost-cutting initiative that will affect the office of the Vice President, as well as the office of the First Lady.”
Ngelale also revealed that for any international travel, “limits have been placed on all ministers of the federation.”
He continued: “Additionally, when any international travel is being approved, the following limits have been placed on all ministers of the federation. Four members of their staff, appointees and the like will be allowed to travel with a minister on an official trip.
“For heads of agencies, two members of staff are allowed to travel on an official trip. Furthermore, the numbers that the President has now approved for official travel with him that will apply to his principal staff are as follows: on international trips, the President has directed that no more than 20 individuals be allowed to travel with him. That number will be cut down to five in the case of the First Lady.
Additionally, the number in the entourage on official international trips for the Vice President will be cut to five, the number that will be placed as a limit on the wife of the Vice President is also five.
“In terms of local trips, the President has approved a new limit of 25 members of staff to accompany him on domestic trips within the country. The office of the First Lady is now limited to 10 staff members to accompany her on official trips within the country. The Vice President will be limited to 15 members of staff on official trips within the country, while his wife will be limited to 10 members of staff on officials within the country, the same as the First Lady.
“It is pertinent to note that there is a difference between the number of members of staff allowed to travel with the presiding officials to international trips and those that are allowed for domestic. You will find out that the numbers on international trips are less than those allowed on domestic trips.
This is because international trips are far more expensive across the board, and the President is determined to bring total sanity and prudence to the management of the commonwealth of our people.”