By Taiwo Ajayi
President Bola Tinubu has taken decisive steps to curb government spending by implementing a drastic reduction of entourage sizes for both national and international events.
In a bid to streamline government expenses, President Tinubu has issued a directive to cut down the number of accompanying officials by 60%. This move aims to significantly reduce the financial burden associated with official trips.
The President’s directive specifies that entourages for state and international events will be scaled down significantly. Notably, on local trips, security details will now be sourced from the host state, optimizing resource allocation.
Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, announced this significant policy change during a briefing with State House correspondents in Abuja.
Under the new directive, President Tinubu will travel with a reduced entourage of only 20 officials, a sharp decline from the previous count of over 50 individuals. Similarly, the Vice President’s entourage will be reduced to five officials, while the First Lady and the wife of the Vice President will each have a team of five officials.
For local trips, the entourage numbers have been streamlined to 25 for the President, 15 for the Vice President, and 10 for the First Lady and the wife of the Vice President, respectively.
Ngelale emphasized that the primary goal of this reduction is to instill fiscal discipline and prudence in resource management within the government.
Moreover, the directive imposes stricter limits on ministerial delegations for foreign trips, capping them at four officials. Heads of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) are allowed a maximum of two officials for international travel.
Notably, the President’s directive for local trips mandates a significant reduction in large security entourages, aiming to curtail excessive expenditure on duty travel allowances.
Ngelale sternly warned that any official disregarding these directives would do so at their own risk, highlighting the seriousness of the President’s cost-saving measures.
A circular containing the new directive has been disseminated to various government ministries, departments, and agencies from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). This move signals the implementation and enforcement of these stringent measures across the government spectrum.