Tinubu Heeds Obi’s Advice Places Ban On Minister, FG Officials; Makes VOW On Soldiers Killed In Delta Crisis

President Bola Tinubu has directed a ban on all public funded international trips for ministers, officials and heads of agencies, according to a letter from his Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

The directive places a three-month embargo on foreign travel by government officials starting April 1, 2024, in a move aimed at reducing cost of governance and ensuring fiscal responsibility.

“Mr. President has concerns about the rising cost of travel expenses borne by Ministries, Department and Agencies of Government as well as the growing need for Cabinet Members and heads of MDAs to focus on their respective mandates for effective service delivery,” part of the letter seen by Premium Times reads.

The letter cited the “current economic challenges and the need for responsible fiscal management” as reasons for the temporary ban on international travel funded by taxpayers.

In the letter, Tinubu’s Chief of Staff said, “I am writing to communicate Mr President’s directive to place a temporary ban on all public funded international trips for all Federal Government officials at all levels, for an initial period of three (3) months from Is April 2024.

“This temporary measure is aimed at cost reduction in governance and intended as a cost-saving measure without compromising government functions.”

While the ban is in effect, any proposed official trips abroad must receive explicit approval from President Tinubu at least two weeks prior to travel after being deemed “absolutely necessary.”

The cost-cutting measure comes barely months after Tinubu’s challenger in the 2023 presidential election, Peter Obi, called on the current administration to stop all foreign trips for government officials until insecurity and other challenges facing the nation were addressed.

The Labour Party former presidential candidate had said no foreign investor or partner would invest in Nigeria given the country’s situation.

Quoting Obi, “As terror attacks, banditry, kidnappings and violence continue to rage through the country, it is more concerning now with the surge of violence spreading through the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“The recent killings of two abducted young girls in Abuja make it more depressing and urgent. It is now time for we, the leaders, to take all forms of serious measures to tackle the situation. It is unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015, campaigned and won the elections on three items; Security, Economy and Corruption (SEC).

“After his eight years in office, the situation has worsened in all three areas. The present administration, on assuming office, promised to deal decisively with the same situation – Security, Economy and Corruption. Today, however, the situation is getting even worse than ever.

“At the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association held in Lagos in August 2022, the then Vice Presidential candidate, Sen Kashim Shettima, categorically stated that if APC is elected, he as Vice President would be in charge of security, while the President as an expert in economy would handle the economy.

“Nigerians, therefore, now implore them to fulfil their campaign promises. Even if they do not achieve 100% results, we want to see 100% effort.

“It is now time to stop all forms of foreign trips from people in government until we deal with the ugly situation facing us at home. No foreign investor or partner will like to invest in Nigeria, with the situation we now find ourselves in.

We must make sincere efforts to end the spread of violence and insecurity in our nation in order to make any meaningful progress.”

Nigerian Govt will honour slain military personnel – Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has vowed to immortalise all the military personnel killed in Okuoma Community in Delta State. The President also said the fallen officers will be given a befitting burial and national honours. While expressing his heartfelt condolences to the families of the bereaved, he pledged that the sacrifices of the fallen heroes would never be in vain.

Recall that about 17 military personnel were killed in Delta State while on a peacekeeping mission, a development that has drawn widespread condemnation from several quarters. “‘In responding to distress calls, they met the end of their lives in a savage manner. Let us work to sympathize and symbolize the fact that they are worth the sacrifices they have made for Nigeria. ”We salute all our men and women in uniform, and we sympathize with them. I will soon make further pronouncements, but they must have a befitting burial and national honours,” the President said.

Meanwhile, the President has appealed to members of the National Assembly to exercise restraint in summoning heads of ministries, departments, and agencies before parliamentary committees. Speaking at the breaking of Ramadan fast on Wednesday in Abuja with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, and the leadership of the House, the President said while oversight is essential for maintaining transparency and accountability in governance, excessive summoning of officials can disrupt operations and hinder service delivery to citizens.

He, therefore, urged lawmakers to show discretion in the exercise of their oversight functions. ”I have been watching various committees summoning ministers and heads of agencies. I have complained to the Speaker to let the poor breathe. Let these people do the job. We are not saying that you are not influential. We are not saying you cannot do your oversight. But consider the primary duty of each agency, its personnel, or the responsibilities of the Governor of the Central Bank or the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance to you and the entire nation.

”If they are distracted or disturbed, maybe we will shift parliamentary sitting all through the night. We must find a way to accommodate one another. This is an appeal to you. See if you can accept representatives in some instances or even documentations,” the President said. Expressing confidence in the ability of the National Assembly to uphold good governance, President Tinubu lauded the existing cordial relationship between the executive and the legislature.

He said the harmonious working relationship had resulted in the expeditious passage of several bills to improve the welfare of Nigerians. He urged the legislators not to forget their constituencies and to take advantage of the holy month of Ramadan to show compassion and support the less privileged in society. ”We are making sacrifices for the country, and we are assuring citizens that there is a very bright light at the end of the tunnel. ”We must have faith, and please do not forget your constituencies and remember what they are going through.

”I cannot thank you enough for what you are doing, but it is for our country. There is nothing personal about this. It is for Nigeria, and we have no other country but Nigeria,” the President stated. In his remarks, the Speaker emphasized the importance of forgiveness, generosity, and prayers during Ramadan and called for unity in the nation and support for President Tinubu. ”I want to urge us to use this month to increase our good deeds and minimize our bad deeds,” he said.

Reflecting on the 10 months of this administration, the Speaker noted that the executive and the legislature have continued to work in synergy for the progress of the country. ”So far, so good, the House has been very supportive of the President and his policies, and we shall continue to ensure that we work together,” the Speaker said.


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