CSOs, eminent citizens flay president, govs’ use of public funds for private trips

More specifically, the president went to the UK “for a short private visit” in June 2023, only one month into his presidency.
During that period, the president was in Paris for an official visit and took part in the meeting titled “A New Global Financing Pact,” which was organized by French President Emmanuel Macron. After the conference he decided to remain longer.
Within the first six months of taking office, President Tinubu reportedly spent at least N3.4 billion on domestic and international travel, according to reports on his website, govspend.ng.
A breakdown of this figure by month reveals that the government spent N82.2 million in June, N393.3 million in August 2023, and N287.9 million in September on for these costs in September.
President Tinubu spent N314.2 million in November and N69.2 million in December to travel both domestically and abroad, despite no payment being made in October.

Additionally, it was reported that two travel agencies received N732.8 million in exchange for the purchase of foreign and domestic airline tickets for the president. Travel Options and Hinterland Travels received payments of N45.1 million and N687.7 million, respectively.
The investigation further stated that N1.53 billion was paid for the purchase of 300 euros and $5.1 million worth of currencies while traveling.

About N8 billion was set aside in the 2024 budget for travel expenses, both domestically and abroad, for President Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima.
The president’s recent visit to Paris, according to worried CSOs, was a stark contrast toHis recent journey to Paris stood in stark contrast to his order to cut travel expenses in order to reduce the cost of governance. They pointed out that in addition to the severe financial realities that prevent profligacies, the Constitution does not allow for a private visit paid for by the public.
Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s (LP) nominee for president in 2023, had earlier chastised the president for going on the jamboree.
“I have been wondering what is private for a sitting president to go on a publicly funded ‘private’ visit when they are not on vacation,” Obi stated. I would respectfully like to remind the president that he is currently a national asset.As such, whatever he does from now on should be known to the public and relevant to the public interest. Even when he wants some alone time!

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