Reducing entourage not enough, slash number of foreign trips also – Obi tells Tinubu

Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the last general elections, has reacted to the reduction in the size of entourage for local and foreign trips by President Bola Tinubu.

Mr Tinubu on Tuesday announced a slash in the size of entourage of federal government officials during local and foreign trips.

Reacting in a statement posted on his X handle on Wednesday night, the former Anambra governor commended the Tinubu administration but said the pronouncement is bereft of sufficient details which will aid accountability.

He also suggested the reduction in numbers of foreign trips while reiterating his earlier call for the depletion in the total cost of governance in the nation.

“The just announced 60% cut in the size of federal official entourages on travels is one positive step towards the reduction of cost of governance and a way of halting wastage,” Mr Obi acknowledged. “But this measure is just scratching the surface as it is limited in scope and can only lead to a very negligible saving.

“We are yet to be told how much savings this will amount to. While this modest step may be somewhat commendable, what is desirable should be both a 60% reduction in federal official overseas trips as well as a 60% reduction in the size of delegations.

“Most importantly, what our current economic reality demands is a 60% reduction in the total cost of governance at the Federal level. This implies that the recently passed federal budget needs to be revised to cut all wasteful and unnecessary items. This is the level of cost-cutting and savings that can meaningfully impact the present state of the economy. This level of cut in the cost of government should lead to substantial savings.

“Such savings should be used to fund the productive sectors of the economy and the much-needed social investments, especially in three key areas: education, healthcare, and the migration of millions of Nigerians from poverty.

“Most importantly, it is not enough to announce arbitrary cuts in the size of federal official entourages. The nation needs to be informed of how much the measure will save and where such savings will be applied.

“Our problem as a nation has gone beyond token populist gestures and announcements. We must be informed of the real details of the measures being implemented on our behalf. For a government that has made a hobby of indiscriminate borrowing, the only way to salvage the economy is to drastically cut the cost of government by reducing wasteful expenses and spending on inessential luxury items,” he added.