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

FG Appoints New Prisons’ Boss

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Ahmed Ja’afaru as the new Controller-General of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS). This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Bassey Akpanyung, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja. Until his appointment, Ja’afaru was an Assistant Controller General of Prisons and was serving at the Prisons Headquarters in Abuja. NAN reports...

FG To Begin Cash Transfers To 30% Poor- Uwais

The Special Adviser on Social Investments in the office of the vice president, Maryam Uwais, yesterday said the federal government would soon begin conditional cash transfers to poor families to ease hardship. Speaking during a workshop on Child Poverty and Social Protection in West and Central Africa at the ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja yesterday, she noted that 30% of the poor in every state and local government would be catered for while the figure would be...

Court Orders IG To Arrest PDP’s Acting Chairman

A Federal High Court in Lagos has directed the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase to arrest anybody who parades ‘himself or herself’ as the  acting chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) pending the determination of a suit before it. Justice Ibrahim Buba who gave the order insisted that the order earlier issued by the court must be obeyed. The  court had earlier  granted an order stopping the convention of the party.

How Shekau’s Bodyguard Killed Boko Haram’s Chief Bomb Maker

The Nigerian Army monday confirmed the death of Boko Haram’s chief bomb maker and a high-ranking terrorist. This is just as a video was released showing the gruesome scene of how female terrorists are tasked with slaughtering women captives in parts of Sambisa forest in the North-east. Army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, disclosed this in a statement, confirming that the killing of the sect’s bomb maker happened in the early hours of Monday.

Tagging All Herdsmen Criminals Can Split Nigeria – Fulani Group

The Jonde Jam Fulani Youth Association has said there is a conspiracy to tag all Fulani herdsmen across the country as criminals, warning that such a move will affect the unity of the nation. The National President of the group, Saidu Maikano who spoke to journalists in Jos, the Plateau State capital, said though there were some criminal elements among the herdsmen, it was unacceptable to tag all herdsmen criminals, especially in the South-South and South...

FG Plans Dialogue With Militants To End Pipeline Vandalism – Lai Mohammed, Kachikwu

The Minister for Information and Culture with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Monday, said the Federal Government is considering opening a robust dialogue with the Niger-Delta militants on the need to stop militancy in the oil rich region.   The duo who spoke in an interactive session with a coalition of civil societies in Lagos, chaired by Dr. Moses Ilo, founder of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, stressed that nefarious activities of militants is currently sabotaging...

I’m Not On Exile- Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has dismissed a report that he is on exile in Cote d’Ivoire. The report, published yesterday by a national newspaper, claimed that Dr. Jonathan had been given asylum in that Francophone country. His associates were alarmed at the report. But Dr. Jonathan yesterday said it was all false. He said on the phone: “I’m not on exile. I have no cause to go on exile. It is a wicked and malicious report.

Fuel Price To Fall Soon, Says Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday assured Nigerians that the price of petrol, which was recently increased from N86.50 to N145 per litre would soon reduce. Mr. Osinbajo, who was addressing a cheering crowd of supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos, was representing President Muhammadu Buhari during a two-day working visit to Lagos. Mr Buhari announced on Sunday that he would be represented by Mr Osinbajo.

Apologise, Refund N10bn Wasted On PDP Convention, APC Tells Wike

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has been told to apologise and refund the N10 billion from the State coffers which he wasted on last Saturday’s inconclusive National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).   The State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) made the demand in a statement signed by its Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, and issued on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.   Rivers APC said: “The well advertised PDP National Convention in Port Harcourt has come and gone...

Desmond Tutu’s Daughter Loses Church License After Gay Marriage

Desmond Tutu’s daughter has been forced to give up her duties as a priest in South Africa’s Anglican church after she married a woman, she told AFP on Tuesday. Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu-van Furth can no longer preside at Holy Communion, weddings, baptisms or funerals after handing in her license because the church does not recognize gay marriage. She said her father, the retired archbishop and celebrated anti-apartheid campaigner, was “sad but not surprised” at the...

Borno Emirs Return Home Two Years After Fleeing Boko Haram Insurgency

Two out of the five Borno emirs forced to flee their domain by Boko Haram terrorists, have returned to their palaces. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the emirs fled to Maiduguri two years ago when the insurgents took control of their domain in Askira/Uba Local Government Area of the state. The insurgents took control of the area in August 2015 and announced establishment of Caliphate rule, forcing residents including the emirs to flee. The insurgents were however...

PDP Suffering From Past Mistakes – Doyin Okupe

Former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has stated that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is going through crisis because the party failed to prepare for life after power. He also said the PDP is suffering from mistakes of the past. Okupe who was a guest on Channels Television breakfast programme yesterday said failure on the part of the leaders of the PDP has further deepened the crisis rocking the party. He said, “The crisis...

Family Of Electrocuted UNILAG Student Gets N45m Compensation

The family of Oluchi Anekwe, a 300-level student of Accounting in the University of Lagos, who was electrocuted by a live wire on the school premises, has been paid N45m as compensation. A source said that the money was paid after the Eko Electricity Distribution Company reached a non-disclosure agreement with the victim’s family. Oluchi, a first class student of UNILAG, was electrocuted at about 7pm in September 2015, while returning from an evening mass with her younger sister. Oluchi had reportedly...

FG Saves N220bn Through Integrated Payroll System

The Federal Government on Tuesday said it had recorded a savings of about N220bn since April 2007 when it commenced the implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System. A statement from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, said that the amount is expected to increase when other agencies of government are enrolled into the platform. The IPPIS is one of the Federal Government’s reform initiative conceived to transform the Nigerian public service aimed at improving the management...

Lagos To Introduce Water Kiosks

The Group Managing Director, Lagos Water Corporation, Mr. Muminu Badmus, says the government has designed water distribution kiosks across the state to bridge the shortfall in water supply and connect more residents to the central water system operated by the government. According to him, residents will be able to buy potable water at a cheaper price from vendors operating the kiosks. Badmus said this at the inauguration of the Mosan Okunola Waterworks at the Abesan Housing Estate, Abesan. He explained that the...

Court Declares PDP Caretaker Committee Illegal

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos has declared as invalid the caretaker committee constituted over the weekend to take over the affairs of the Peoples Democratic Party from its acting National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff. The judge, in a ruling on Monday, directed the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to enforce his order, barring the members of the constituted caretaker committee from taking over the affairs of the party. Details later…

Reps Panel Okays FRSC’s Speed Limiters

The House of Representatives Committee on Federal Road Safety Commission has endorsed the move by the Federal Road Safety Corps to introduce speed limiting devices on vehicles in the country as part of measures to curb road crashes. A report of the committee, on Monday, indicated that the FRSC acted within the powers conferred on it by the FRSC Act, 2007, to “implement strategies to safeguard lives and property of road users.” Part of the report read, “The FRSC was acting...

Metuh Admitted In Hospital, Lawyer Tells Court

The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Olisa Metuh, was absent from his ongoing trial before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday. Upon an inquiry by the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, about Metuh’s whereabouts, his lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), said the defendant was on a bed rest at the National Hospital, Abuja. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, on charges including fraudulent collection  of N400m...

FG Praises NLC For Suspending Strike

The Federal Government has praised the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for suspending its five-day-old strike. The Ayuba Wabba-led NLC had embarked on a nationwide strike on May 18 to protest government's decision to increase the pump price of petrol from N86.50 to N145.00. The Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who gave the commendation on the sideline of an interactive session with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Lagos on Monday, said the suspension of the strike was a...

FG To End Open Defecation By 2019 – Minister

The Federal Government has pledged to end open defecation by 2019 to create a healthy environment. Hajiya Amina Mohammed, Minister of Environment, disclosed this when she featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.   ``We’ve decided to embark on a couple of campaigns and apart from the sanitation day, we are setting ourselves targets - two targets specifically. ``One will be about ending open defecation in public places by 2019 because I think it is important to know that...

80% Of Kaduna Tomatoes Ravaged By Disease – El-Rufai

The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai on Monday said 80 percent of the tomato produced in the state had been ravaged by pests and diseases. Specifically, the governor declared a state of emergency in tomato production in the state, saying all hands must be on deck to combat various pests and diseases ravaging tomato. A species of moth attacks the leaves of tomato to cause a disease condition called ‘Tuta Absoluta’. The larva produced by the moth feed voraciously upon...