The All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the immediate implementation of sweeping cost-saving measures aimed at instilling financial discipline and prudence, particularly on government trips.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party lauded the presidential directive to ministers and other heads of government agencies to suspend foreign travels and defend their budgets before the National Assembly.
According to Issa-Onilu, this will not only foster legislative-executive relations but also ensure that budget passage is speedy.
“It will also help in returning to the January-December cycle.
“This is another fulfilment of the president’s election promise to cut costs of governance, curb leakages, end impunity and ensure adherence to the rule of law by all departments of government.
“The approved measures are to instil financial discipline and prudence on government trips. All public-funded trips must be strictly for official purposes and must be backed with documented evidence.
“The classes of tickets approved for government officials on official trips have been clearly spelt out.
“In effect, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants to the President, Chairmen of Extra-Ministerial Departments and Chief Executive Officers of Parastatals are allowed to fly Business Class.
“Other categories of Public Officers are to travel on Economy Class,” the party’s spokesman said.
According to him, the government will no longer fund extended stays.
“Duration of official trips is limited to only the number of days of the event as contained in the supporting documents to qualify for public funding.
“Clearly, the era of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s government when ministers and other senior government appointees splashed our commonwealth on private jet trips, first-class tickets and limousines to ferry family and cronies around are over.
“Our public resources are now being rightly deployed to address our national infrastructure needs, social investments and other initiatives that directly benefit the people,” he said. (NAN)