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Friday, June 21, 2024

“Laudable Move” Dr Membere-Otaji, Sanusi backs Relocation of FAAN, CBN Departments to Lagos

On January 18, 2024, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN had announced the relocation of its headquarters from Abuja to Lagos after a directive from Festu Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also made a similar announcement.

However the move has continued to elicit controversial debates nationwide. Some northern politicians kicked against the move, warning it would have political consequences.

In a statement, Dr Emi Membere-Otaji, OON Deputy National President of Nigerian Chamber Of Commerce, NACCIMA said the idea of moving FAAN and some departments of CBN is a laudable move by the Federal Government.

He stated; “The FCT is now overcrowded beyond the population growth envisaged by the founding fathers of the nation’s capital. Its becoming more of an Economic capital beyond the Adminstrative/Political capital envisaged from the beginning. However Departments and Agencies being moved closer to the state or city of relevant activities, should not necessarily be to Lagos, which is also dealing with its serious own problems.

“No one should attribute the movement as sectional as the present location of the FCT was chosen because of it’s centrality, among other considerations. Moreso, those old enough, will recall that the reverred jurist who chaired the new capital search decades ago, was from the present South West Zone and any protest with ethnic colouration will make others begin to think that the FCT is afterall no more for all Nigerians,” Dr Membere-Otaji said.

Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said relocating departments of CBN to Lagos was the right thing to do. He argued that the CBN’s decision to relocate certain departments to Lagos was a strategic one that required proper analysis to determine which roles were better suited to each location.

He referred to those opposing the move as “dangerous for the bank’s future” and emphasised the importance of putting the bank’s interests before personal attachments to Abuja. He stressed the importance of clear communication regarding the strategic intent to avoid misrepresentation and arbitrariness.Sanusi also called for individual situations to be considered, showing empathy toward young mothers with children in school or those with medical conditions who might not need to relocate.

The former CBN Governor alleged many employees are children of politically exposed individuals, who prioritise their lifestyles and businesses in Abuja over their work at the bank.

He believed that relocating certain functions to the larger Lagos office would streamline operations, making them more effective and reducing costs.

Sanusi suggested that the Financial Systems Stability (FSS) department and most of Operations should be moved to Lagos with the two Deputy Governors operating primarily from there.

He also recommended that departments reporting directly to the Governor such as Economic Policy, Corporate Services, Strategy, Audit, Risk Management, and the Governor’s Office, remain in Abuja.

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