The Central Bank of Nigeria on Saturday denied reports that the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele and members of his family flew private chartered jet to the burial of his mother.
The apex bank in a statement issued by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, said neither the governor nor any of its top official had engaged the services of chartered private jets since 2015.
It said while it had been a practice for its governors in the past to use private chartered jets when embarking on urgent national assignments, such practice was stopped by Emefiele when he assumed office in 2015.
It said Emefiele had taken the decision in response to the economic downturn which the country was suffering and also in line with the cost cutting stance of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The CBN in the statement said the governor and his family members flew a commercial Arik flight from Lagos to Benin for their mother’s burial.
The statement reads in part, “The Central Bank of Nigeria 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.
“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.”
It stated that while the bank had in 1990 acquired a dedicated jet to facilitate its smooth operations particularly for urgent currency movement, the jet was however taken over by the military administration when there was a more urgent need for it at the State House.