Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration resolve to cut costs, the Central Bank of Nigeria on Saturday said that CBN officials no longer use private or chartered jets in their official trips.
Newspaper reports had earlier alleged that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and other top CBN officials flown private jets to Emefiele’s mother’s burial in Delta State penultimate Saturday. However, the apex bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, has debunked the story adding that Emefiele had stopped flying luxury private jets since last year.
Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, in a statement on Saturday said, “However in 2015, in response to the economic downturn and the cost-cutting stance of the Federal Government, Mr. Emefiele ordered the stoppage of the use of chartered flights by the central bank. Since then, neither Mr. Emefiele nor any of the deputy governors had used the services of private chartered flights and the CBN has not paid a kobo for private jet services.”
It added, “The 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.”