CBN Denies Emefiele Used Chartered Jet For Mum’s Funeral | Independent Newspapers Limited
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CBN Denies Emefiele Used Chartered Jet For Mum’s Funeral

Posted: Apr 9, 2016 at 4:30 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debunked allegations that Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the bank’s govenor has been chartering private jets and even flew on one of such jets with his family to attend his mother’s funeral in Delta State last week.

The CBN, in a statement signed by Isaac Okorafor, acting Director, Corporate Communications, said, contrary to the allegations, Emefiele put an end to the practise of chartering jets for the CBN, and “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.”

The statement was in response to claims in the media and other circles that Emefiiele was using taxpyers’ money to charter jets for private and official use.

One the allegations against the CBN governor was that he chartered a jet from Vistajet, to travel accompanied by the minister of stste for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu.

A national  daily (not Independent)  claimed that: “The Bombardier luxury private jet with cozy interior, flown by Kachikwu and Emefiele belong to VistaJet Holding SA, a Swiss charter airline that has satellite facilities in some countries of the world, including Nigeria.

” The CBN, impeccable sources within the apex bank revealed, had also entered into a long-term and renewable contract with VistaJet. The contract gives Emefiele unfettered access to one of VistaJet’s luxury planes any time of the day and for whatever number of hours.

“According to top officials of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency working in the air traffic control towers in Lagos and Abuja airports, Emefiele has been flying regularly one of VistaJet’s private jets.

“He has been sighted flying the Bombardier Challenger 850 flown by Diezani during the last administration. According to unconfirmed sources, the CBN pays $1 million to VistaJet a year for the use of any of its jets by the governor any time.”

Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum, was criticised for chartering jets at public cost for months on end.

The bank has, however, denied the allegations.

The CBN said: “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.


“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.”