steadyaku47 comment : For the following article, instead of Nigeria read MALAYSIA and instead of Nigerian read MALAYSIAN! As for the Nigerian names....please read whatever Malaysian names you think appropriate...Najib, Zahid, Ahmad Maslan etc etc.
High life over for Nigeria's 'Big Men' as crackdown looms on big entourages and VIP travel
New president bans from politicians from first-class flights and employing crowds of hangers-on at public expense
With their luxury air travel, five-star hotel rooms and vast entourage of hangers-on, the life of a Nigerian politician has long been more akin to that of a rap star than a public servant.
But after decades of draining government coffers with their lavish spending, the country's political elite are finally having their business-class wings trimmed.
Muhammadu Buhari, the stern former general elected as president in May, has introduced tough new rules slashing the amount that any of his staff can spend on perks such as personal assistants, and foreign travel.
Out goes the days when Nigerian ministers could could act like a state-funded version of Sean "P Diddy" Combs, travelling the world in private jets.
From now on, public servants will have to obtain prior permission for any trips outside of the capital, Abuja, and will only be able to travel business class if they are on an official government mission.
Mr Buhari has also made it clear that private journeys - such as shopping trips to London - will no longer be funded by the public purse.
The new measures have only just begun to bite, as it was only last month that Mr Buhari finally appointed his cabinet, having spent the previous six months scrutinising the accounts bequeathed to him by his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan.
A major fraud investigation is now under way over claims that up to £15 billion in oil revenues had been siphoned off during the Jonathan administration.
"No more personal assistants, and no more motorcades"
The new politics of parsimony have had a mixed response from Mr Buhari's new ministers, who - if the rules are observed - will now be the first generation of Nigerian politicians to be banned from lining their pockets.
Arguably the biggest culture change of all is the decision to stop funding the "entourage", which has long been the way for any Nigerian "Big Man" to show he is a figure of influence.
Sometimes numbering 30 or more people, the entourage traditionally travels with a VIP wherever they go, meaning that even the routine commute to work is done in a large, ostentatious convoy.
While they add vastly to the cost of ministerial hotel bills, most entourage members have nebulous titles like "personal assistant to the personal assistant", and do little except applaud their boss during speeches and meetings.
Official guidance makes it clear that this practice now has to end. According to a document from Nigeria's Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, areas for efficiency savings include: "Eliminating or limiting the number of personal assistants", and "Reduction of large use of motorcades by officials".
Another way in which Mr Buhari hopes to shrink the size of entourages is by reducing the number of police assigned to each politician, some of whom often end up as little more than personal escorts who barge their bosses convoy through traffic jams.
Nigerian media has reported that Mr Buhari is to redeploy most of the police on escort duties back onto the streets again.
True, ministers will not exactly be roughing it: those on official business will still enjoy a spending allowance of around £100 per day.
But at last month's Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta, the Nigerian delegation brought in their own chef with them, cooking simple Nigerian dishes in the hotel to discourage delegates from dining out in the restaurants.
"The Nigerian food was for free," said one source who was at the meeting. "If they wanted to eat fancier stuff, they had to pay for it with their own money."
The measures are in part driven by necessity. Thanks to the slump in world oil prices, Nigeria can no longer afford such profligacy among its politicians.
But Mr Buhari himself, who also ran the country as a military ruler in the 1980s, has always courted a Spartan image, which has done much to win him popularity with voters.
In September, he declared himself to have just £100,000 in his personal bank account - a fortune by the standards of ordinary Nigerians, but a relative pittance by the standard of fellow politicians.