Koroma orders ministers to cut trips

2010-09-22 15:27

Freetown - Sierra Leone President Ernest Koroma on Wednesday warned ministers and civil servants to curtail overseas trips as the expense was hampering the west African nation's development.

"Government ministers and top civil servants are advised to cut down on their overseas missions to minimise travel expenses which might not be in the best interest of development," a presidential order said.

"The president frowned at the rate at which some government functionaries are travelling out of the country," the order, which was sent to all government departments, said.

"The president has ordered that this should be stopped and from now on, he is going to personally monitor every minister travelling out of the country."

The order did not say how much the overseas travel was costing Sierra Leone.

One minister, who asked not to be identified, acknowledged the need for a cutback on travelling, in comments to AFP, but added: "It is critical for trips to be made as they are part of financing development to seek aid."

Government officials travelling on overseas missions are given a $250 daily allowance, according to finance ministry figures.