President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that no minister should go on foreign trips more than twice in a quarter.
The Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who disclosed the directive, said government officials below the rank of ministers are henceforth entitled to fewer aides.
While addressing the year-ending press conference in Lagos, Mr Mohammed said: “Similarly, in its effort to block leakages and promote transparency in the management of resources, the President this year approved additional cost-saving measures, particularly in the area of official travels.
“Under the new policy, all 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.
“They 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.
“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 (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).
“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, to 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.”