Ban on foreign trips for govt officials cost-cutting move, laudable – TMSG 

The Tinubu Media Support Group (TMSG) has welcomed President Bola Tinubu’s decision to ban foreign trips for senior government officials as a laudable move to check frivolous use of public funds.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Jesutega Onokpasa, Wednesday in Abuja, the group argued that the decision will have a knock on effect on cost of governance.

It said: “A laudable template has been laid by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for state Governors, who have the interest of the country at heart. Mr. President ‘s decision to stop frivolous foreign trips at tax-payers expense is a welcome development that should have salutary effects on our foreign exchange reserve.

“Hitherto, the economy was managed in a manner suggesting that Nigeria had an inexhaustible foreign exchange reserves, leading to a near collapse of the Naira. “Almost every department of Government was in a race to outspend one another as officials embark on frivolous foreign trips with costly Estacodes (allowance for official trips) for those on such trips.

“Agreements and discussions that should have been handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or our embassies abroad became duplicated at all levels. “The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was also treated as if it does not exist, as officials scrambled for scarce foreign exchange to spend abroad. This was a part from the cost of airline tickets for such trips.

“Now, it is becoming a different story with the firm resolve of President Tinubu to bring down the cost of governance. In addition to his recent resolve to implement the Oronsaye report by merging government agencies with overlapping functions, Nigeria is set to save a lot of funds from the gross wastage of the past. This is commendable.”

TMSG also urged the subnationals to take a cue from the President and put a similar structure in place.

“If the 36 state Governors can borrow a leaf from this initiative of Tinubu, it would go a long way to stem the tide of leakages in our finances as well as steady the decline in our foreign reserves. 

“Apart from the beneficial effect to our foreign exchange reserves, it will show Nigeria as a serious country in the comity of nations, where the giant of Africa is no longer ready to accept that ‘anything goes.’ “Fiscal discipline is critical for national discipline.

“Since the current democratic experience began in 1999, the fear of the cost of governance has been a major source of worry for many. Today, the monster is being tamed by an administration that is ready to prove that without external intervention Nigeria has what it takes to move the nation forward. This is a welcome development that should be applauded by all,” the group added