The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says contrary to reports Godwin Emefiele, its governor, does not fly private chartered jets as a result of Nigeria’s economic realities.
In a statement by Isaac Okoroafor, acting director corporate communications, the CBN said it used private jets in the past, long before Emefiele came into office, and particularly for critical assignments.
The bank added that the flight taken by the governor and his family, for his mother’s burial was an Arik commercial
flight, as it is with the “buy Nigeria” philosophy.
The CBN “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.
“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”.
The CBN added that it later conceded its private jet to the military and to the state house, also before Emefiele.
“This was however taken over by the military administration when there was a more urgent need for it at the State
“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.”
The apex bank made explicit explanations that Emefiele did
not use any private jet or chartered flight for the burial of his mother, rather he promoted his “made-in-Nigeria”
“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.
“All accounts still point to the fact that the Emefiele’s mother’s burial was a model in cost-cutting and an
uncommon demonstration of his modest, ‘made in Nigeria’ philosophy.”