Buhari introduces new travel measures, directs public officers to fly economy class

President Buhari introduces new policy to address public office holders travel expenses.

President Buhari moves to cut public officers travel expenses. [TheNation]

For class of air travels, the President directed that Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants to the President, Chairmen of Extra-Ministerial Departments and Chief Executive Officers of Parastatals should continue to fly Business Class.

While the aforementioned public officers are to fly Business Class, the president directed that other categories of public officers are to travel on Economy Class.

Also, 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. 

In a statement signed by Willie Bassey, Director of Information to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha, it was disclosed that the president approved the immediate implementation of the cost saving measures.

The new travel measures, according to the statement, will ensure financial discipline and prudence, particularly, in the area of official travels. 

Going forward as disclosed in the statement, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are required to submit their Yearly Travel Plans for statutory meetings and engagements to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and/or the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation for express clearance within the first quarter of the fiscal year, before implementation.

The MDAs are further required to make their presentation, using the existing template and also secure approvals on specific travels as contained in the plan, from the appropriate quarters. 

The presidency also maintained that the nature and frequency of travels for 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 (2) foreign travels in a quarter. 

Also, when a Minister is at the head of an official delegation, the size of such delegation shall not exceed four (4) including the relevant Director, Schedule Officer and one (1) Aide of the Minister. Every other delegation below ministerial level shall be restricted to a maximum of three (3).

In cases where expenditures contravene the president's newly-introduced guidelines on travels, the Auditor-General of the Federation has been directed to treat the expenditures as ineligible.

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