It was reported over the weekend that CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, Ibe Kachikwu flew on a private jet used by the former Minister of Petroleum resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke to attend Emefiele’s mothers burial. It was also alleged that the CBN governor goes around with private charter flights, incurring huge expenses on the nation’s treasury.
The apex bank has released a statement through its Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor debunking the allegations. It read:
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.
The statement also added that Emefiele stopped the use of chartered flights by the apex bank in 2015 as an austere measure in the dwindling economy.
“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. 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.” it added.
Responding to the allegations, NNPC’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Garuba Deen Mohammad, released a statement saying,
The minister has in fact used his deep knowledge of the operations of the offshore companies to save money for the NNPC and the petroleum ministry by insisting that since the federal government, through the NNPC, contributes 60 per cent in the Joint Venture agreements it has entered into with international oil companies, then the NNPC is entitled to all facilities that are available as part of the operations of the Joint Venture Agreement.
Naturally this includes the use of private jets where and when necessary which expenses are borne by the JV partners. It does not cost the NNPC a single Naira to enjoy this facility.
It is necessary to add that since the grounding of the NNPC-owned private jet which has since been handed over to the presidential fleet as scrap, Kachikwu has resisted every pressure to procure and maintain another private jet for the NNPC. And even though it is a standard practice in the oil and gas industry, the minister has refused to retain the services of any private jet company.
This is in keeping with the resolve of the current government to reduce cost and unnecessary expenditure. We deeply regret that we have to go this extra mile to correct the wrong impression needlessly created and sensationalised by the publication.
The general public should disregard the veiled efforts by some vested interests to distract the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government by attacking its principal officers. Such proxy attacks are unnecessary and unpatriotic. Once again we wish to remind Nigerians that the books of the NNPC are open to any member of the public that has followed the right channel to verify any such misleading report.
Source: This Day