LEGACY OF WASTE: Jonathan’s foreign trips gulp N3.3bn …travelled 20 times in 2012

Published:7 Dec, 2012

Billions of naira of taxpayers’ money have been expended on the foreign trips of President Goodluck Jonathan despite his January promise to cut down on such trips.

This newspaper’s findings show that the President and his entourage have spent not less than N3.354bn on foreign trips since 2010.

Our correspondent learnt that in the first 11 months of 2012, the President had travelled out of the country at least 20 times, including his trip to Sierra Leone in October and the D8 Summit he attended in Pakistan in November.

In September alone, Jonathan travelled out of the country four times. He travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a two-day visit on September 1 for the burial of late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

Nine days later, he went to Malawi and Botswana in a cumulative three-day visit for enhancement of bilateral relationships.  The President ended the month of September with another trip to New York, United States for the United Nations General Assembly

From February, 2010 when he became the Acting President to December 2010, Jonathan              spent N970.891m on foreign travels.

Although the 2011 budget was silent on the expenses for the President foreign travels, investigations showed that about N1.7bn was spent on foreign trips.

According to the 2011 budget, N1.145bn was budgeted for Vice-President Namadi Sambo’s foreign trips.

In 2012, N N684.74m was budgeted for Jonathan’s foreign travels and he had travelled out of the country 19 times.

Although the 2013 budget recently submitted to the National Assembly by Jonathan suggested that N2.6bn would be spent on his foreign trips next year, investigations have shown that much more than the quoted figure will be spent and is being spent judging by the expenses the country incurs during such trips.

The expenses incur include and are not limited to airfares for members of the President’s delegation who will travel on commercial flights, cost of procuring travel visas for them, estacodes for members of the delegation, fuelling of the presidential jets as well as other logistics.

Only the President and his very top aides fly on the presidential jets.

Industry source told one of our correspondents that airfare to and fro any European countries in the Economy category could vary from N110,000 to N150,000 per person depending on the timing and the destinations.

She added that for the Business class, the fare ranged from N600, 000 to N700,000 per person depending on the category of the Business Class (there are three categories), the timing and destination.

Prevailing exchange rate at the time of purchase is also said to be a factor.

The source added that corporate purchase like Aso Rock would do, could also attract discounts.

The President was said to have jetted out to different destinations in Africa, Europe, Asia, North America and South America during his Presidency.

Jonathan, in 2011 alone, visited several countries including United States, France, Uganda, Australia, Ghana, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and Ethiopia among others.

The size of his entourage varies depending on the country he is visiting and the purpose of such visit.

While top aides and officials of the Presidential Villa are regular faces on such trips, ministries relevant to the purpose of his overseas trips also send delegations.

Lately, the President had also resolved to always go on foreign trips with two members of the National Assembly (one from each chamber) who serve on the committee related to his purpose of visit.

State governors are also on the entourage.

For example, an online news site, Saharareporters, had in June reported that Jonathan travelled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the United Nations’ Earth Summit with 116 government officials.

Although the Presidency faulted the number, it did not offer the exact number despite a request made by the news site.

The breakdown of the delegation was given as 25 personal aides, 18 aides of Mrs. Patience Jonathan, two members of the National Assembly, five ministers, two state governors, and 63 officials from the Ministries of Environment, Foreign Affairs, National Planning and Petroleum Resources.

When the President visited Brussels for the World Customs Conference in the same month, the same medium reported that he went with about 57 people, including 26 aides, three ministers, eight members of the National Assembly, and 20 other government officials.

The same month, Patience Jonathan was in Maryland, United States, to attend a UNESCO First Lady’s “Youth Infusion” Summit and was reportedly accompanied by 36 people: 18 aides, four wives of state governors, and 14 friends and associates.

Investigation showed that in September 2012, Jonathan jetted out of the country four times. He visited Ethiopia   Malawi, Botswana and New York, United States for the UN General Assembly.

He had reportedly visited Trinidad and Tobago earlier with a 70-member delegation.

Jonathan had said in a national broadcast in January, “I have directed that overseas travels by all political office-holders, including the President, should be reduced to the barest minimum. The size of delegations on foreign trips will also be drastically reduced; only trips that are absolutely necessary will be approved.”

 

via Punch

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Actress Mercy Johnson heavily pregnant with baby number 3 (photos)

Nollywood actress Mercy Johnson Okojie who recently turned a year older has shared photos from her birthday celebration on her Instagram page which revealed she's expecting baby number 3.   The beautiful mother of 2 who got married to her husband, Prince Okojie, in 2011 has since kept a low profile.   Below are photos from her birthday celebrated with her family...

Amaechi denies criticizing Buhari over appointments, arrives Port Harcourt

Former governor of Rivers state, Chibuike Amaechi has debunked rumours that he flew to London on Friday in anger because he was not offered an appointment in any key position recently announced by President Buhari.   The former Governor Amaechi who arrived Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital on Saturday to attend the opening of St. Vincent Due Paul Catholic Church, Elechi beach Port Harcourt, was received at the airport by Dakuku Peterside, the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) and...

Ogunsanya Tosin: Welcome Into The Nigerian School Of Public Governance

A welcome speech by the institute head… Listen up everybody, we welcome you all to NSPG, a place where we transform individuals to leaders primarily in the public sector. You are left with only one option and that option is to learn. More specifically, NSPG covers all aspects of governance in domestic and global organizations, from risk assessment to policy analysis, disregarding societal status to whoever jettison the rule of law, design and evaluation.

#DeltaTribunal: Lack of Proper Certification of Election Results by INEC Threatens to Render Evidence Inadmissible

?The Delta State election tribunal proceeded with a hearing on Friday, 28th August. The counsel to the petitioner (Emerhor/APC), Chief Okpoko (SAN), drew the attention of the tribunal to the failure of INEC to properly certify results from polling units in 24 LGAs. He noted that certification is to be done by an authorized scripted signature rather than an unscripted signature, and further stated that INEC, being an electoral body, should be an unbiased umpire instead of...

Kylie Jenner Allegedly Paid Tyga’s Rent

Tyga made headlines last month when he allegedly had his girlfriend Kylie Jenner lend him cash and by cash we mean $50,000 to pay off rent on his Calabasas, Calif. mansion. The 25-year-old was pictured on Thursday leaving a bank, openly holding a stiff looking stack of dolla billz! We can clearly see a Ben Franklin at the top of the stack, an can only assume there is more where that came from! Read...

OPC Opens Up On Buhari’s Appointments

Reacting to Buhari's appointments on Thursday, founder, Oodua Peoples Congress,OPC, Dr Fredrick Fasehun has implored Ni­gerians not only to be vigilant but also get prepared for a long battle ahead. According to him, Buhari through the appointments has shown himself to be insensitive to the feelings of oth­er ethnic groups across the country. ‘’What Buhari has done is evil. Through his actions since his inau­guration, he has been pandering to­wards the interests of a particular...

Senate Begins Probe Of Power Sector

The stage appeared set for a comprehensive probe of the nation’s power sector as the Senate declared on Friday that officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, its departments and agencies and other key players within the sector would soon appear before it. The Chairman, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Power, Senator Abubakar Kyari, stated this when the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, inaugurated the 14-member fact-finding panel at the National Assembly Complex. Kyari said stakeholders in...

Seven Die As Nigerian Air Force Aircraft Crashes

Seven people have been killed after an aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Air Force crashed at the old site of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna , Northwest Nigeria. The casualties include all four crew members and three passengers. The victims were travelling from the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna en route Abuja. Emergency officials say the helicopter crashed less than ten minutes after taking off. Read More: channelstv

Appointments Will Be Balanced By September, Buhari Defends Appointments

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday defended the appointment of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal and five others. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, yesterday assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari’s political appointments will balance out soon. Adesina spoke on a radio programme, Political Platform, on RayPower 100.5FM. Adesina said the President was aware of federal character and expressed the belief that...

BUSTED! Boko Haram Planned To Bomb Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport

A plot by Boko Haram terrorists to bomb the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was uncovered last Monday by the Department of State Service, DSS. The DSS made this known on Saturday in a statement by an official, Tony Opuiyo in which he said a fourteen year old boy,  Sulaiymon Abdulraman (a.k.a Sunday AJAYI), of Kogi State was apprehended inside the airport. On interrogation, Abdulraman allegedly disclosed that he infiltrated the airport with the assistance of...

Buhari’s Appointments “Totally Unacceptable To Ndigbo”- Igbo Youths

The Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), on Friday, condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest appointment for the positions of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Chief of Staff to the President and others. Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the president of the group, said in a statement he jointly signed with the OYC’s spokesperson, Obinna Adibe, said the appointments were “totally unacceptable to Ndigbo”, arguing that they violated the principle of federal character as enshrined in the Nigerian...

Jonathan’s Bodyguards Posted Out Of Villa

Department of State Services personnel who served as bodyguards to President Goodluck Jonathan have been posted out of the Villa to various state commands. Competent sources at the Presidential Villa said that the signal for the posting of the over 150 bodyguards who had remained redundant following the directive by the ADC to President Buhari that they should leave the presidential villa came yesterday. “Almost all of our personnel who were bodyguards in the villa...

Lagos-Based Journalist Arrested In Cameroon, Accused Of Spying For Boko Haram

A Lagos-based Cameroonian journalist, Simon Ateba, has been arrested by Cameroonian authorities as he investigated the conditions of Nigerian refugees camped in the country’s far north. The journalist, who managed to leave a messages on his Facebook page before he was locked up Friday, said he was arrested for venturing, without permission, into a refugee camp with 50,000 Nigerians. He later told a colleague that the authorities were threatening to charge him for espionage –...

Buhari Orders CBN To Pay Amnesty Beneficiaries

President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria  (CBN), Godwin Emefiele to ensure the outstanding tuition, stipends and allowances of all amnesty beneficiaries were paid without further delay. This is as the European Union (EU) has strengthened its partnership with the  Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, under which the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) is domiciled, to seek ways of ensuring that the programmes meets up with...

Garba Shehu: Understanding Buhari in 100 Days

The enormously popular talk show, ‘Berekete’ on Wazobia FM, Abuja, told the incredible-yet-true story of a hard-working and respected school teacher somewhere in Plateau State who hanged himself. He hadn’t been paid salary for seven straight months. He came home to find that no-one had eaten and two of the children had medical prescriptions for which there was no money. He sneaked out without talking to anyone. After a long while, news came home that he had...

Obasanjo, a liar, economic illiterate – Soyinka

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has described former president Olusegun Obasanjo as a pathological liar, adding that he has lost total respect for him. Soyinka said this on Friday night when he was responding to questions during a programme tagged: ‘An evening with Wole Soyinka’, organised by Globacom.

Praiz, 9ice, Pasuma And Others Set For Battle At The Celebrity Fans Challenge Tomorrow !

The biggest and most exciting celebrity football party is back  !Kiibati Bankole presents another exciting edition of her novel celebrity football contest- Celebrity Fans Challenge; and this time around, it is bigger than ever, as some of Nigeria's biggest names in entertainment go head to head for bragging rights and the title of Nigeria's biggest celebrity SUPERFAN!The celebrities include 9ice, fuji ace- Pasuma, Reminisce, Praiz, Gbenga Adeyinka(GCON), Illbliss, Nollywood stars Segun Arinze and Fred Amata; and representing the ladies- Simi (Jamb...

Troops Kill Boko Haram Members Dressed In Nigerian Military Uniform

Boko Haram members dressed in Nigerian military uniform were killed during a raid of the sect members camp in the North East. See the photos after the cut...be warned it's graphic!

#Pausibility: Gehazi, Vuvuzela-General And The Lesson For The New Generation By Adebayo Coker.

The diverse reactions that were triggered by the recent appointments of the President are funnily incredulous. Very soon we will hear Dauralization or Patriarchization. We voted PMB to deliver to us chenji then we complain when he selected his team. PMB has chosen the people he wants to work with; I hope when playtime comes he will consider some of us. September is a month to look forward to. My...

Chad Sentences 10 Boko Haram Members To Death

Chad has sentenced 10 members of Nigeria-based Islamist militant group Boko Haram to death on terrorism charges, judicial sources said on Friday. "They are all sentenced to death," said one of the sources. Chad's capital N'Djamena, less than 100 kilometres from the Nigerian border, was hit by a series of suicide bombings in June and July that killed more than 40 people. Source: Trust.org

Fayose Appoints 72-yr Old Carpenter As Council Boss

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State Friday appointed a 72-year old Carpenter and illiterate, Mr Olatunde Afolayan as the caretaker chairman of Moba Local Government. Fayose, also sworn in members of the State Independent Electoral Commission, headed by a retired Chief Judge of the State, Justice Kayode Bamisile , to be able to conduct local government elections before the end of the year. After administering the oaths on the appointees, Fayose told President Muhammadu Buhari to remove Mrs Amina...