The Federal government of Nigeria has banned its top officials from travelling business class when embarking on official trips.
Media Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Mr Festus Akanbi confirmed this in a statement released on 6th April.
The statement explained that this demand is an attempt at cutting government expenditure.
“The Efficiency Unit, in its negotiation for discounts with local and international airlines, also recommended other measures for reducing the government’s large expenditure on travels to the OSGF( Office To The Secretary Of The Government of the Federation).
“This includes the need to restrict business class travel to ministers, permanent secretaries, chairmen of Federal Government committees, as well as chairmen and chief executive officers of parastatals and agencies.
“In the past, some government officials, who should have been on business class, usually traveled first class, while many others traveled business class instead of economy.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun explained that this development was as a result of a recommendation made by the Efficiency Unit. The Efficiency Unit (E-Unit) is an establishment in the Ministry of Finance which seeks to check government expenditure by ensuring their necessity.
The development also urged government officials to reduce the frequency of their trips and push for their meetings, workshops, conferences to be held in Nigeria.
“The second recommendation bordered on the need to reduce the frequency of travels by ensuring that board and committee events such as meetings, workshops and conferences in Nigeria are held in locations where the institutions or persons participating in the event are domiciled.
“Furthermore, such events should, for the most part, be held in Nigeria; but where this is not possible, the prior approval of the Secretary to the Federal Government should be secured.
“In line with the present administration’s commitment to the reform of public expenditure, the OSGF accepted the recommendations in full and has accordingly issued a circular recently to effect the changes.
“The buy-in and prompt reaction of the OSGF is an attestation to the common resolve by government to its change mantra and the spirit of collaboration among government institutions and officials.”
The successful implementation of this development would lead to a 20% save on government expenditure. This will in turn make more funds available for more important expenditure such as power, public health facilities and so on.