CBN clears the air on alleged use of private chartered flights

Posted by News Express | 9 April 2016 | 2,793 times

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not use private chartered flights. The apex bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, stated this Saturday morning in an interview with News Express. He was clearing the air following an unsubstantiated report (not by News Express) purporting that CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele allegedly travelled to his village in a private jet when he recently went home to bury his late mother, Alice.

Setting the records straight, Okorafor said: “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has, for several years in the past, used private and official chartered flights in making urgent travels to meet needs in remote, not-easily-accessible locations or in cases where timing might be critical to matters of urgent national importance.

“This practice was in place long before the assumption of office of the current Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele. In fact, it is on record that the past two CBN Governors actively used chartered private jet services to meet urgent national assignments. Indeed, in recognition of this critical need in its smooth operations, the CBN had in the 1990s acquired a dedicated jet for this purpose and for urgent currency movement. This was however taken over by the military administration when there was a more urgent need for it at the State House. Thereafter, the CBN occasionally used the chartered services of private operators and those of the Presidential Fleet when available, both of which were paid for.

“However in 2015, in response to the economic downturn and the cost-cutting stance of Government, Mr. Emefiele ordered the stoppage of the use of chartered flights by the Bank. Since then, neither Mr. Emefiele nor any of the Deputy Governors has used the services of private chartered flights and the CBN has not paid a kobo for private jet services. Mr Emefiele and indeed other principal officers of the CBN have religiously maintained the modest disposition of using regular flights, including doing several trips by road to and from different parts of the country.

“It is also important to note here that no private jet was used by Mr. Emefiele, his immediate family, or indeed other principal officers of the Bank during the burial of Mr Emefiele’s mother.

“FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF ANY DOUBT, IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT MR. EMEFIELE AND HIS FAMILY FLEW A COMMERCIAL ARIK FLIGHT FROM LAGOS TO BENIN FOR THEIR MOTHER’S BURIAL. All accounts still point to the fact that Emefiele’s mother’s burial was a model in cost-cutting and an uncommon demonstration of his modest, ‘made in Nigeria’ philosophy.”

Mr Okoroafor stressed that Mr. Emefiele was the one who terminated the use of private jets for local movements in the Bank even though it was a policy that had been in place since the 1990s.

“Mr. Emefiele has been steadfastly flying local commercial flights like every other Nigerian within the country,” he said, adding:

“Many persons see him regularly in local commercial flights in and around the country.

“As Group Managing Director of one of the country’s largest banks, Mr. Emefiele had full access to private jets and should have been commended for the courage to terminate the contract as Governor of the Central Bank.

“This campaign of calumny against Mr. Emefiele would do anyone no good and we have better ways to move Nigeria forward rather than targeting someone just because you do not like his policies.”

•Photo shows CBN Governor Emefiele.


Source: News Express

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