Nigerians on Tuesday hailed President Bola Tinubu for slashing his entourage size for domestic and international travels by 60 per cent, in a decisive step to cut excessive travel spending.

The austerity measures apply to all federal ministries, departments and agencies, the Office of the President, Office of the Vice President and the wives of the President and the Vice President.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

Ngelale said, “President Bola Tinubu has approved that anywhere he travels within this country, he will no longer accept or allow huge security delegations to be following him from Abuja, which attract massive bills with respect to estacode and duty allowances.

“He has approved a massive cost-cutting exercise that will cut across the entire Federal Government of Nigeria and the offices of the President himself, the Vice President and the Office of the First Lady. It will be conducted in the following fashion.

“On international trips, the President has directed that no more than 20 individuals be allowed to travel with him. That number will be cut down to five in the case of the First Lady. Additionally, the number in the entourage on official international trips for the Vice President will be cut to five. The number that will be placed as a limit on the wife of the Vice President is also five.

”This decision comes five weeks after Nigerians criticised the Tinubu administration for sponsoring at least 1,114 delegates to the United Nation’s annual climate summit, COP28, in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Although the Presidency said it sponsored only 422 delegates, reports say it spent N2.78bn on air fares and estacodes.Many Nigerians commended Tinubu’s Tuesday decision.

Taking to X, @odonoh said governors should emulate the president by cutting down the size of their entourage when they travel to reduce recurrent expenditure. “President Tinubu, a leader by example,” the user added.

@VivaDido said, “This is commendable but asked, “Wait, where would the saved money go to in the budget?”

@PatoEner said “what happened at COP28” needed not to happen again. “This is a good one, thinking in line for a better funds management. What happened at the COP28 need not repeat itself again,” the user said.“Excellent move. I wonder what those defending the large entourage will defend now,” @St_Vin wrote.

@SodiqTade said if anyone believed Tinubu would reduce his entourage to 20 officials, “then you are not a serious person. This is like the annual withdrawal of police officers from the VIPs.” The user however said, “I commend him for even trying to put it on paper.”

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