Foreign trips ban will save FG N5bn quarterly, says Tinubu

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Bola TinubuPresident Bola Tinubu on Friday said the ban on foreign trips for government appointees will save the country over N5bn.

This is as he urged Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria products and services to sustain the recent gains of the Naira in the foreign exchange market.

He said the recent appreciation of the value of the naira against the dollar does not spell Uhuru yet. Therefore, he called for more collaboration from citizens, whom he urged to blow the whistle on persons seen engaging in practices that undermine the local currency.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed these to journalists when he delivered President Tinubu’s message at a State House briefing Friday afternoon.

Ngelale explained that the FG expects to save N5bn quarterly by imposing a strict three-month ban on all publicly-funded foreign trips for ministers, heads of government agencies, and other officials.

In a letter dated March 2, 2024, from the Office of the President’s Chief of Staff, Tinubu imposed a three-month ban on all official foreign trips for heads of ministries, departments, and agencies beginning April 1, 2024.

The letter explained that the aim is to reduce the rising expenses incurred by ministries, departments, and agencies on international travel and ensure that cabinet members and heads of MDAs focus on their respective mandates for effective service delivery.

The Presidential Spokesman said, “With the temporary ban being put in place from April 1 on all but unnecessary foreign travel, we’re expecting to save over N5bn per quarter.

“This is going to be one out of several initiatives the President is taking to ensure that we reduce waste in the public sector in such a way that we can steer these very needed recurrent resources into the hands of those who are doing important work on behalf of the Nigerian people.”

He cited recent reviews of the pay structure of judicial officers to ensure internationally competitive remuneration.

Recall that upon assuming office 10 months ago, the Tinubu administration discontinued subsidies on petrol, which, he said, would save the government monies for infrastructural expansion.

He also unified the foreign exchange rates to curb currency arbitrage.

However, these moves sparked collateral instability in the value of the Naira and heaped hardship on Nigerians as food prices soared.

In February 2024, N1,900 was exchanged for one USD in the black market.


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