TOP GOVT OFFICIAL SPENDS N5.4BN ON 45 FOREIGN TRIPS

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The managing director of a federal agency spent not less than N5.44 billion last year on 45 foreign trips, according to findings by New Telegraph on Sunday. Our correspondent learnt that the amount was spent on the MD’s 45 trips to Europe in 2013.
Findings at the agency’s protocol unit revealed that most of the trips were for short stays, as the MD and his entourage usually travelled on Fridays and returned Sundays.
A source at the protocol unit, who declined to be named, said, “We are not aware that this agency is seeking any foreign investor or planning to sign any memorandum of understanding (MOU) with any company or firm. So, we are surprised that the MD made these trips so frequently.
Again, our major concern is that he usually travels with people who have no business with the operations of our agency. He usually goes with traditional rulers on first-class tickets and they stay in five star hotels abroad.”
Another source in the parastatal said the trips were mainly to the United Kingdom. It was further gathered that the helmsman usually embarked on most of his foreign trips with a retinue of staff, beside his friends, but they collectively number over 11 persons per trip.
Findings revealed that an air ticket from Lagos to London costs about N1,155,520 for a first-class passenger, while economy class goes for about N222,167 per person. Therefore, air tickets for 11 passengers comes to about N12,210,620. As such, 45 trips totalled about N539, 075,400 for air tickets only.
Our correspondent further learnt that the official daily estacode for heads of agencies and parastatals under the supervising ministry for the agency is about $6,000 a day, while directors and general managers collect about $4,500 daily. This covers internal transportation, hotel accommodation, feeding and other sundry personal expenses the beneficiary may incur during the trip.
Some of the helmsman’s foreign trips are normally listed in the accounts sector for two weeks or some times less, even as his entourage was normally paid the estacode of general managers.
This brings the amount paid out to one person in one year to about $63,000. Subsequently, the total amount paid as estacode on his foreign trips is $31,455,000 or N4, 914,960,000.
When aggregated, the amount paid on air tickets and the estacodes paid out by the organisation was put at N5, 444,135,000 in 2013 for his trips. New Telegraph on Sunday learnt that the agency’s helmsman has made more trips this year.
Source: New Telegraph

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