Senator Ali Ndume, Chief Whip of the Senate, has warned President Bola Tinubu about the intention to shift some CBN departments as well as the headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to Lagos, stating that there will be “political consequences.”
Ndume, speaking in an interview with Channels TV, stated that those behind the decision are “Lagos boys” in Tinubu’s cabinet.
The CBN recently issued an internal document outlining its decision to move certain offices to Lagos, citing departmental congestion. Simultaneously, the government announced intentions to relocate FAAN’s headquarters to improve operational efficiency and cut costs.
However, Ndume contended that if the offices were relocated due to congestion, it would be more sensible to consider Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kogi, and other neighbouring 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 like Nigeria is Lagos. Lagos is in Nigeria. That’s a wrong decision.
- “We will not accept it. Besides, they are not doing any favour to Mr. 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 correct them because they don’t know anybody. They only know their offices. And they only know that they have brains,” Ndume said.
President Tinubu will Reverse the Decision, Says Ndume
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 Nigeria’s commercial capital 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 since it is the country’s federal capital.
- “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.