A previous directive issued in April 2016 banned ministers and other federal government officials from flying first class.
The latest circular, dated November 2, 2016 and seen by TheCable, read: “In view of the ensuing budgetary and fiscal challenges faced by the federal government arising from low oil revenue, it has become necessary to review the Guidelines for Local and International Travels as provided for in Circular Ref. No. SGF. 6/S.2/X/545 of 31st March, 2016 with a view to further prune recurrent expenses on travels and tours.
“Accordingly, government has decided that all civil and public servants in the rank of Directors and below in federal ministries, departments and agencies as well as Chief Executive Officers (Managing Directors, Executive Secretaries, Directors-General, etc) of federal government parastatals, agencies and institutions are henceforth to travel on economy class for both local and international travels.
Similarly, all non-executive chairmen and members of federal government boards of parastatals are henceforth to travel economy class.”
The circular makes an exemption for ministers, permanent secretaries, presidential aides, service chiefs and “relevant” heads of armed and para-military services who are still allowed to travel business class.
Lawal said there should be “immediate compliance” with the directive.
“For avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that government will monitor the implementation of this directive and any breach will be met with appropriate sanctions,” he said.