by Rachel Ogbu
Responding to a letter from civil rights lawyer, Bamidele Aturu, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said that its Governor, Lamido Sanusiis only entitled to N25,000 per night for his local trips.
On the strength of the Freedom of Information Act, Aturu had requested Sanusi to reveal, among others, his total monthly pay and other entitlements including the cost of his foreign trips.
Although Aturu’s letter dated December 31, 2012 was not ignored, the CBN, in its reply to Aturu’s request, through a letter dated January 16, 2013, by the apex bank’s Director/Legal Adviser, Legal Services Department, S.M Onekutu, cited a pending case as the reason for declining to release the details of Sanusi’s total remuneration.
“The governor is entitled to N25,000 per night as incidental allowance on his local trips,” Onekutu said, responding to part of Aturu’s questions.
On why the cost of Sanusi’s trips abroad, could not be disclosed, Onekutu merely said, “The governor’s entitlement is as approved by the Federal Government”.
On Sanusi’s total remuneration, the letter read in part, “The governor’s remuneration is as stipulated by the Board and approved by Mr. President in accordance with Section 8(3) of the CBN Act.
“Besides, the governor’s emolument, and indeed, the emolument structure of the CBN is benchmarked against the Banking industry as approved in the Federal Government’s White Paper on the Presidential Committee on Consolidation of Emoluments in the Public Service.
“However, we are unable to release the details at the governor’s alary and allowances as that information is already subject of litigation in Suit No FHC/L/CS/016/2011: Uzoegwu F.O .C Vs CBN & HAGF. The matter is an appeal and it will be prejudice to comment on it.”
The CBN further said its boss occasionally used chartered planes to travel within the country “as dictated by exigencies” but said time was too short to release detailed information on it.
Though Aturu commended Sanusi for not ignoring his request as many Nigerian public officers would have done, he said he would give time for the CBN to add up its figures on some of his requests yet to be answered satisfactorily.
Just like Barrister Bamidele Aturu am impressed the CBN responded because as a Civil Servant with integrity and nothing to hide such questions should be answered promptly. As regards the Questions unanswered the Director Legal should kindly clearly the air on them as soon as the appeal in court is concluded. Thank you.
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