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Buhari cracks down on big entourages, VIP travel

29 December 2015, 19:04Cindy Pierce

Abuja - After decades of lavish living and draining of public funds, the time has finally come for Nigerian politicians to curb their frivolous spending, The Telegraph has reported.

In an announcement made by President Muhammadu Buhari, tough new measures have been introduced to slash the amount that officials are allowed to spend on private entourages and overseas travel.

Trips outside of the capital, Abuja, will now have to be granted through prior permission, while public servants may only travel business class when embarking on official government trips.

Buhari was also stern in announcing that private shopping trips overseas will not be footed through public funds.

Gone are the days of politicians living the lives of rock stars, as their entourages will now also have to be made smaller. 

Sometimes commuting with up to 30 people at a time, VIPs would traditionally employ a group of personal assistants who would act as an ostentatious convoy and "hype" the official up whenever need be.

According to a document from Nigeria's Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, the number of personal assistants will now be limited, along with the use of motorcades to transport VIPs.

The number of police assigned to each politician will also be greatly reduced, with the surplus of police officials being redeployed back onto Nigerian streets.

Buhari is not one to lead by words and not example, having recently been spotted on an economy flight from London to Abuja. See the picture here.

In addition, at a meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Malta last month, a chef was deployed with the Nigerian delegation in order to discourage officials from spending public funds at fancy restaurants.

Reports on Monday indicated that Buhari has also ordered a reduction in the number of cars in his convoy.

The Daily Trust said this is part of the measures aimed at reducing the cost of governance. .

The president now moves in a motorcade of about 12 vehicles.

The austerity measures come in response to a rapid decline in world oil prices, which has largely affected the Nigerian government and its ability to sustain the lavish lives of its elite citizens. 

Nevertheless, time will tell whether these stipulations will reflect positively on the pockets of average members of the Nigerian population.

Read more at The Telegraph

- News24


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