As part of efforts to save cost by strict adherence to guidelines on foreign travels, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR has admonished Protocol Officers and those in-charge of International Travel Desks in Ministries, extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to thoroughly scrutinize request for International travels and Foreign trainings as well as being diligent in processing such requests, stating that they should always make reference to extant Circulars and relevant provisions of the Public Service Rules (PSRs).
She made the call during a one-day workshop on Requirements for Processing Request for Approval for International Travels and Foreign Trainings, in Abuja, where she was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties Office, Engr. Faruk Yusuf Yabo.
The Workshop is aimed at sensitizing the Desk Officers in MDAs responsible for official travel arrangements to promote cost saving measures in the light of dwindling national resources, having observed that some MDAs have not been complying with extant rules, as well as templates in forwarding their request for approval of International travels and trainings to be funded by the Federal Government.
Dr. Yemi-Esan, CFR advised that in cognizance of the fact that sometimes International engagements may be impromptu, the concerned Permanent Secretary and / or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) should, always, inform the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties Office - OHCSF on time. He added that due to the fact that retrospective approval is not tenable, it should be noted that all requests are processed on merits, as far as it is strategic and exigent to the MDAs’ mandate and budgeted for in the subsisting Appropriation Act.
Earlier in her address, the Director Civil Service Inspectorate Department in the OHCSF, Mrs Otelemete Olusanya, said it has been observed over time that Travel Desk Officers, in processing/forwarding requests to the Head of Service of the Federation for approvals, have not been accompanying their requests with the appropriate and necessary documents, thereby making timely processing, difficult.
She lamented that despite the same Workshop being organized last year, some MDAs are still not adhering to guidelines and circulars, hence a repeat of the Workshop. She added that the workshop will enable Desk Officers report back and impress on their principals in their respective MDAs of the need to forward travel requests two (2) weeks ahead of the estimated/expected travel time to enable the OHCSF process approvals timely unlike what is currently operational in some MDAs.
In their separate presentations, the representative of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Nuhu Mahmud Sani, noted that formulation of budget is a priority of every Government, adding that no country is able to cater for all of its needs. While the representative of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr John Okor Odey, disclosed that the Nigerian Government is determined to save cost in the prevailing economic situation, in order to have more funds available for other priority projects.
M. A. Ahmed,
Deputy Director, Communications
November 15, 2022
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