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    International

    Ruto and Tinubu nicknamed "The Flying presidents."

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    Ruto and Tinubu nicknamed
    • February 21, 2024 • 2 months ago
    in summary
    Concerns have been raised over the number of foreign trips made by both Nigerian and Kenyan presidents as the duo leads the African leader list with the highest expenditure on foreign travels.
    • Critics shun heavy comments on Presidents Ruto and Nigerian counterpart Tinubu over foreign trips.
    • Presidents said to have the busiest travel schedules.
    • Analysts continue to argue that some trips are neccessary while others are just made for personal glorification.

    Nigeria and Kenyan presidents have both been targeted by critics due to the number of foreign trips they have both made during their tenured as national leaders.

    The two men have faced multiple criticisms and as for the validity of their foreign trips.

    Nigeria's Ahmed Bola Tinubu case in point  has had a reign characterised by visits to many nations all in the name of seeeking and attracting foreign investment.

    Only last year after being sworn in as president, he made travels to Saudi Arabia then Guinea Bissau and a week later travelled Dubai.

    ln his 2024 year message President Tinunbu was quoted to have said" On every foreign trip i have embarked on, my message to the investors and other business people has been the same. Nigeria is ready and open for business."

    As for Mr. Ruto, his travel schedule since his inauguration in 2022 has even been more hectic.

    He travelled out atlist twice every month between September and November that year.

    In may 2023, he made five trips, visiting various African countries, Europe and the U.S for global events and bilateral meetings.

    Due to budget short cuts and increasingly bigger Kenyan debt,  the President decided to cut down his travel entourage but didn't specify whether he would cut the number trips abroad.

    lt has not only been Kenya and Nigeria where the cost of travel has been a concern. Felix Tshikedi's re-run for presidency faced criticisms due to the number of foreign trips he made with allegations that there was little to show for them.

    Last November Malawi's Lazarus Chakwera suspended all interrnational travel for himself and his ministers and ordered all those that were abroad to return home due to the economic problems that were grappling the country.

    Uganda, Gambia Sierra Leone and Namibia are some of the other African countries to also have addressed the spending by government officials though many have pointed out Dr. John Pombe Magufuli who never travelled outside Africa in six term in power.

    Mr. Ruto and Mr. Tinubu have both defended their trips saying that the trips are meant to solve the very problems their people say am ignoring.

    President Tinubu in the eight months since his inauguration has made a total of 14trips, an average of two trips a month.

    Meanwhile as for William Ruto,he has made about 50 journeys abroad since he became president in 2022,an average of 3 trips per month.

    Ruto as well as Tinubu both have negative comparisons compared to their predecessors Uhuru Kenyatta and Muhammadu Buhari although the number of days spent abroad is almost equivalent. Kenya and Nigeria have both attempted to cut criticisms of government employees flying abroad.

    The Ugandan neighbour to the east annouced a 50% budget cut in a wake of accusations against foreign and domestic trips.But this did not affect the president who said he won't shun trips as long as they are beneficial. 

    This all arises big questions to do with not the frequency but the cost. Mr. Tinubu is said to have spent 3.4 billlion naira ($2.2m) on domestic and foreign travel in the first six months of his presidency, 36% more than the amount budgeted for in 2023.

    President Ruto's overall spending for both domestic and foreign travel for the year was 1.3bn Kenyan shillings ($9.2m) exceeding the travel budget for the previous year by more than 30%.

    The statistical expenditures are not fit for countries known to grapple a high debt burden and high rates of inflation.

     

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