As part of measures to cut down the high cost of Governance to achieve fiscal prudence, President Muhammadu Buhari has reduced the number and duration of foreign trips for ministers and other categories of government officials
A statement signed by the Director of Information at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey, said the President also removed travelling financial benefit known as Estacode allowance and cut down the number of persons permitted to travel with the ministers and other government officials for official trip.
The President, however, approved the use of business class for ministers and economy class for lower categories of government officials and approval for such trips must be sought through the office of the SGF or Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
The statement read in parts says “Travel days will no longer attract payment of estacode allowances as duration of official trips shall be limited to only the number of days of the event as contained in the supporting documents to qualify for public funding.”
The statement added that only trips that would benefit the country must be embarked upon by the affected officials, noting also that ministers and other categories of government officials must not travel more than twice within a quarter of a year except with the permission of the President.
It noted, “On the nature and frequency of travels, all public funded travels (local and foreign), must be strictly for official purposes backed with documentary evidence. In this regard, all foreign travels must be for highly essential statutory engagements that are beneficial to the interest of the country.
“Except with the express approval of Mr. President, ministers, permanent secretaries, chairmen of extra-ministerial departments, chief executive officers and directors are restricted to not more than two foreign travels in a quarter. The Auditor-General of the Federation has been directed to treat all expenditures that contravene these guidelines as ineligible.”