President Tinubu Implements Ban on Foreign Trips for Nigerian Government Officials

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu is set to impose a three-month embargo on ministers and other government officials from engaging in publicly funded foreign trips, as revealed by Tinubu’s chief of staff.

This decision stems from concerns regarding the soaring expenses associated with official travel by public servants. Scheduled to commence on April 1st, the ban comes amidst mounting criticism directed at Tinubu’s administration for its frequent international visits. Notably, the government drew significant backlash, particularly on social media platforms, following its sponsorship of over 400 individuals to attend the COP28 climate conference in Dubai last November.

Tinubu, who assumed office in May 2023, has embarked on more than 15 foreign trips, contributing to an expenditure that exceeded the allocated budget for 2023 by 36%, as reported by the Nigerian newspaper Punch in January, citing GovSpend, a platform monitoring government spending.

Given Nigeria’s current economic challenges, characterized by one of its severest cost-of-living crises in decades, Tinubu’s administration aims to address fiscal strain through responsible financial management, according to Femi Gbajabiamila, Tinubu’s chief of staff. The temporary restriction on official travel seeks to streamline expenditures and refocus government officials on their core duties. Essential foreign trips will require prior approval from President Tinubu, to ensure that resources are allocated judiciously. While steps are being taken to reduce official travel delegations and increase oversight,

Tinubu’s travel patterns remain unaddressed, with his representatives asserting the importance of his international engagements in tackling economic challenges.