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

Members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and eminent citizens have questioned executives’ use of taxpayers’ resources for so-called private visits of the president and governors, describing it as an “abuse of office” and prodigal use of scarce resources.

They decried the rate at which other public officers, top civil servants and their family members deploy public assets, including official vehicles for private engagement, thereby increasing the cost of governance.

Recall that President Tinubu returned to the country Tuesday night after a 13-day private stay in Paris, France. The trip, the third of such visits in eight months, was made on the presidential jet with other paraphernalia of office.

Specifically, in June 2023, barely one month in office the president travelled to the United Kingdom, “for a short private visit.”

At that time, the president was also on an official trip to Paris, during which he participated in the summit for ‘A New Global Financing Pact’ hosted by French President, Emmanuel Macron. He extended his stay after the conference.

On its website, govspend.ng, it was reported that President Tinubu spent not less than N3.4 billion on local and foreign travels within his first six months of assuming office.

Giving a monthly breakdown of this amount, the government spent N82.2m in June, N393.3 million was paid for trips and related expenses in August 2023, and N287.9 million was also spent for these expenses in September.

Though no amount was paid in October, President Tinubu spent N314.2 million in November and N69.2 million to embark on local and foreign trips in December.

It was also stated that N732.8 million was paid to two travel tour companies for the purchase of presidential international and local air tickets. The two companies, Hinterland Travels and Travel Options, were paid N687.7 million and N45.1 million, respectively.

Also, the report said N1.53 billion was paid for the purchase of forex worth $5.1 million, 300 euros during travels.

It was also stated that N732.8 million was paid to two travel tour companies for the purchase of presidential international and local air tickets. The two companies, Hinterland Travels and Travel Options, were paid N687.7 million and N45.1 million, respectively.

Also, the report said N1.53 billion was paid for the purchase of forex worth $5.1 million, 300 euros during travels.

SourceGUARDIAN

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