In a bid to curb leakages and ensure efficiency in the management of government resources, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved for immediate implementation, additional cost saving measures aimed at instilling financial discipline and prudence, particularly, in the area of official travels.
A statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by the Director Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Willie Bassey stated that henceforth, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were 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 statement further said that MDAs were 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.
On nature and frequency of travels, it informed that all public funded travels (local and foreign), must be strictly for official purposes backed with documentary evidence adding that in this regard, all foreign travels must be for highly essential statutory engagements that were beneficial to Nigeria’s interest.
It continued, “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 4 including the relevant Director, Schedule Officer and 1 Aide of the Minister. Every other delegation below ministerial level shall be restricted to a maximum of 3.
“For Class of Air Travels, the President has approved that Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants to the President, Chairmen of Extra-Ministerial Departments and Chief Executive Officers of Parastatals who are entitled, continue to fly Business Class while 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.
“The Auditor-General of the Federation has been directed to treat all expenditures that contravene these guidelines as ineligible.”
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