Tinubu Trims Officials Travelling for UN General Assembly
By Adedapo Adesanya
President Bola Tinubu has directed the non-inclusion of officials with no direct participation in the United Nations General Assembly from traveling in Nigeria’s delegation.
This is part of a broader effort to reduce the cost of governance in Nigeria, according to a statement signed by Mr Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity on Monday.
According to the statement seen by Business Post, President Tinubu ordered the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to freeze the processing of visas for all government officials seeking to travel to New York for the United Nations General Assembly without proof of direct participation in UNGA’s official schedule of activities.
It also tasked the United States Mission in Nigeria to help ensure that this was carried out effectively.
“To prevent any sharp practice in this regard, the U.S. Mission in Nigeria is accordingly guided on official visa processing while Nigeria’s Permanent Mission in New York is further directed to prevent and stop the accreditation of any government official who is not placed on the protocol lists forwarded by the approving authority,” the statement read in part.
By this directive of the President, all Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies are mandated to ensure that all officials, who are approved for inclusion in the UNGA delegation, strictly limit the number of aides and associated staff partaking in the event.
It added that, “Where excesses or anomalies in this regard are identified, they will be removed during the final verification process.”
According to the statement, “The President wishes to affirm that, henceforth, government officials and government expenditure must reflect the prudence and sacrifice being made by well-meaning Nigerians across the nation.”
According to experts, one of the plagues facing Nigeria is the mismanagement of resources and amid revenue and spending problems, there have been several calls to the Tinubu-led administration to cut the high cost of governance in the country.
The country is among the eight economies with the lowest human capital in the world, ranked 167th out of 174 countries on the World Bank’s Human Capital Index.
With 60 per cent of the low levels of overall spending being absorbed by public sector salaries and pensions, and growing interest payments, it is difficult for government to properly execute projects. Taking steps to cut this huge cost would go a long way in easing the pressures on the nation’s purse.