Ndume Warns Tinubu Over Relocations Of Apex Offices To Lagos

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The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, has issued a warning to President Bola Tinubu over the plan to relocate some departments of CBN as well as the cooperate headquarters of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to Lagos, adding that there will be “political consequences.”

Ndume, who spoke while featuring in an interview with Channels TV, said those behind the decision are “Lagos boys” in Tinubu’s cabinet.

CBN recently issued an internal memo stating its decision to relocate certain offices to Lagos, citing congestion in specific departments. Simultaneously, the government announced plans to move the headquarters of FAAN to enhance operational efficiency and reduce costs.

However, Ndume contended that if the offices were to be relocated due to congestion, it would be more sensible to consider Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kogi, and neighboring ring states of Abuja for their proximity, rather than the distant city of Lagos.

“Some of them think that they know better than everybody. But they don’t know anything. When you don’t know Nigeria, you only know Lagos, then you start doing things as if Nigeria is Lagos. Lagos is in Nigeria. That’s a wrong decision.

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“We will not accept it. Besides, you know, they are not doing a favour too far President, because this will have political consequences. Yes. I’m telling you this. And these guys who are just sitting down there, trying to hang on to Mr. President will not be there to amend the political mistakes or even to correct it because they don’t know anybody. They only know their offices. And they only know that they have brains,” Ndume said.

Speaking further, Ndume said he believes the relocation was a mistake and the President will most certainly reverse the decision.

He pointed out that the argument that Lagos is the commercial capital of Nigeria cannot stand since NNPC is not located in the South-South part of the country, emphasizing that Abuja is where all regulatory bodies should be located since it is the federal capital of the country.

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“The regulators of the financial institutions are in Abuja. You want to move because you say Lagos is the commercial capital. This is one of the mistakes and I am sure Mr President will reverse it because it does not work.

“And I’m sure the president will reverse it because it doesn’t work. You can’t have two capitals or is the CBN governor going to be operating from Lagos and the headquarters of the CBN is in Lagos?

“Do you say that because the majority of our oil is extracted from the South-south, you take the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) to the South-south or because Nigeria’s agricultural produce is more in the north, you take the Ministry of Agriculture to anywhere in the north.

“It doesn’t work that way. And that is one of the problems that is cropping up, but I’m very sure, I’m very confident that Mr. President will look at this because he’s a nationalist, not just a Lagos man,” the federal lawmaker said.

Meanwhile, social commentator, Reno Omokri has said that the moving of specific departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from Abuja to Lagos does not harm Arewa people in any way.

Omokri explained on his official X page that some departments not being in the federal capital isn’t peculiar to Nigeria.

He wrote: “Arewa people know I am indigenously yan kudu, but socially and mentally Dan Arewa. I will never deliberately go against the interest of Arewa. Therefore, let me say that moving specific departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, to Lagos in no way harms Arewa politically or economically.

“It is in Nigeria’s economic interests that this happens. Money that is made in Lagos does not stay in Lagos. It circulates from there to other states. Especially Northern states. VAT taxes and other sources of revenue collected from Lagos and shared with other states readily come to mind. Let us be our brother’s keeper and make sacrifices for our unity.

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