President Tinubu Bans Foreign Trips for Government Officials


President Bola Tinubu has announced a three-month prohibition on ministers and other government officials embarking on publicly funded trips abroad.

According to the Chief of Staff, this decision stems from President Tinubu’s concerns about the escalating expenses associated with travel by public officials. The ban is scheduled to come into effect on April 1.

Criticism has been directed at President Tinubu and his administration due to their frequent international visits. Particularly on social media, he faced backlash after sponsoring over 400 individuals to attend the COP28 climate conference in Dubai last November.

Since assuming office in May 2023, President Tinubu has embarked on more than 15 foreign trips. In the first six months of his presidency, it is estimated that he spent at least 3.4 billion naira ($2.2 million; £1.8 million) on domestic and international travel, exceeding the allocated budget for 2023 by 36%.

Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to President Tinubu, stated that the travel ban aims to reduce costs amidst Nigeria’s ongoing economic challenges and the necessity for responsible fiscal management.

The country currently grapples with one of the most severe cost-of-living crises in decades, leading to widespread hardship and public discontent.

This three-month embargo on official travel by government officials represents President Tinubu’s latest measure in response to the public outcry.

In January, he announced a 60% reduction in the size of official travel delegations, including cuts to his own entourage.

Once the ban is implemented in April, government officials will only be permitted to travel abroad if it is deemed absolutely necessary. Additionally, they will require President Tinubu’s approval at least two weeks prior to departure.

Mr. Gbajabiamila emphasized that the travel halt will enable officials to concentrate on their respective responsibilities and deliver effective services.

While President Tinubu has curtailed travel for government officials, it remains unknown whether he will reduce his own international visits.

The president and his representatives have previously defended his trips, asserting their importance in addressing the economic issues that he is accused of neglecting.

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