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Tinubu: Ban on Foreign Trips to Save FG N5 Billion Quarterly

Tinubu: Ban on Foreign Trips to Save FG N5 Billion Quarterly

President Bola Tinubu announced on Friday that the ban on foreign trips for government officials will result in savings of over N5 billion for the country.

Tinubu emphasized the importance of Nigerians supporting locally-made products and services to sustain the recent improvements in the Naira’s value against foreign currencies.

While acknowledging the recent strengthening of the Naira against the dollar, Tinubu cautioned that challenges still remain. He called for increased cooperation from citizens, urging them to report individuals engaging in activities that undermine the local currency.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, shared these insights with journalists during a State House briefing on Friday afternoon.

Ngelale clarified that the Federal Government anticipates saving N5 billion every three months by implementing a strict ban on 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 mandated a three-month suspension of all official foreign trips for heads of ministries, departments, and agencies, effective April 1, 2024.

The letter outlined the objective of reducing the increasing expenses associated with international travel by government bodies and ensuring that cabinet members and agency heads prioritize their core responsibilities for efficient 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.

The Naira has recently steadily climbed against the US dollar, exchanging N1,382/$ at the official market on Thursday.

Ngelale argued that a stronger naira is necessary for working citizens as it would complement the new minimum wage upon implementation.

He explained, “I’m confident that Nigerians have witnessed the strengthening of the Nigerian Naira against the United States Dollar. This is the direction all of us have wanted to head and we are very sober to the fact that this is no time to rest or to clap.

“This is why His Excellency President Bola Tinubu has approved a series of interventions to ensure that we see a mass strengthening of the Nigerian Naira against all other global currencies.

“One, President Bola Tinubu, wants to communicate very clearly to our people that there has never been a more important time in our history to actively agree together that we will patronise and purchase made-in-Nigeria products across all value chains, across all sectors.”

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