Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has counselled President Mohammadu Buhari to stay at home and govern the country instead of junketing from one country to the other, saying; “foreign countries won’t solve our problems for us and the President’s incessant foreign trips is already bleeding the economy with about $1 million being spent per trip.”
The governor, who said most of the trips embarked on by the President were unnecessary, added that ministers or at best the Vice President could have been made to attend most of the functions being attended abroad by the President.
According to a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said that “the President should rather listen more to those of us who criticise him instead of those hailing every of his wrong steps either because of what they intend to gain or for fear of persecution.”
The statement read; “Conservatively, about $1 million goes into every of the foreign trips and the way the President is going, foreign trips alone might gulp 20 percent of the Federal Government budget and that will be disastrous for the dwindling economy of the country.
“It is even more worrisome that while the economy is already in shamble and insecurity pervades the land with Boko Haram burning Nigerians, including children alive in the North East, our President is busy globetrotting.
“From available records, in June 2015 alone, the President travelled to Niger Republic, Chad, Germany and South Africa. Also in 2015, the President travelled to United States of America in July, Benin Republic in August, Ghana and France in September, India in October, Iran, France and United States of America in November and in December, he travelled to South Africa, Benin Republic.
“This year alone, President Buhari has travelled to the United Arab Emirate, Kenya, Ethiopia and he is leaving for France and United Kingdom today to spend four days abroad.
“In most of these trips, about $500,000 is spent on estacode, transportation, accommodation, honorarium, media coverage, contingency and other expenses on accompanying Presidency officials. The Presidential Air Fleet, which includes fuelling of the planes and allowances for crew members as well as the President’s estacode per night and those of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his aides is said to be in the range of $500,000.
“Out of his eight months as President of Nigeria, two months have been spent outside the country, and one wonders how a country like Nigeria can progress with its president spending the better part of his time abroad.
“Mr President is therefore advised to focus more on governing Nigeria from home because foreign countries won’t solve our problems for us. He should fulfil his promise of leading the fight against Boko Haram from the front. Most importantly, the President should pay more attention to the ailing economy of the country while he carries on with genuine fight against corruption.”