Nigeria halts int'l training, trips for civil servants

LAGOS - Nigeria decided on Thursday to suspend foreign trainings and international travels for public servants as part of wider measure to cut costs in the wake of dwindling oil revenues.

"The government has embarked on a number of measures to help manage the situation," read a memo issued from the office of Nigeria's head of service Danladi Kifasi.

"One of such measures is an embargo on foreign trainings and international travels by public servants in all ministries, departments and agencies, including all parastatals, beginning from January 2015," it added.

The memo was silent on whether the rule applies to political officer holders who face criticisms of globetrotting, especially on medical tourism.

It said the rule follows "developments in the international oil market" which has slashed revenues.

From the initial $75 per oil barrel budgetary estimate, Nigeria, Africa's biggest exporter of the crude oil, has had to review the price down to $65.

Even at that, the price of crude oil still rotated between $45 and $55, representing a rude shock to the national economy that relies almost entirely on crude sale.

Last year, Nigeria announced some austerity measures to cope with the crisis including special tax on luxury goods like wine and operators of private jets, among others.

The country has also devalued the local currency, naira, from 155 to 168 against the U.S. dollar.

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