Northern youths oppose relocation of FAAN, CBN departments to Lagos - AMEBO NEWSPAPERS NG.

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Northern youths oppose relocation of FAAN, CBN departments to Lagos

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The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum has condemned the relocation of key departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to Lagos.


The FAAN and the CBN had begun relocating some of their key departments to Lagos, citing high cost as part of the reason for the relocations.


The Central Bank of Nigeria had in an internal memo made available to newsmen last week announced the transfer of some of its departments to Lagos State.


The memo partly reads, “This is to notify all staff members at the CBN Head Office that we have initiated a decongestion action plan designed to optimize the operational environment of the Bank.


“This initiative aims to ensure compliance with building safety standards and enhance the efficient utilization of our office space.


“This action is necessitated by several factors, including the need to align the Bank’s structure with its functions and objectives, redistribute skills to ensure a more even geographical spread of talent, and comply with building regulations, as indicated by repeated warnings from the Facility Manager, and the findings and recommendations of the Committee on Decongestion of the CBN Head Office.


“The action plan focuses on optimizing the utilization of other Bank’s premises. With this plan, 1,533 staff will be moved to other CBN facilities within Abuja, Lagos and understaffed branches.


“Our current occupancy level of 4,233 significantly exceeds the optimal capacity of 2,700 designed for the Head Office building. This overcrowding poses several critical challenges.”


Similarly, the Federal Governement announced the relocation of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s headquarters from Abuja to Lagos.


The relocation was officially announced by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, in a memo dated 15th of January, 2024 and signed by the Managing Director of FAAN, Mrs Olubunmi Kuku.


The memo reads: “The Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development has directed that the Headquarters of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria should be relocated from Abuja to Lagos.


“Consequent upon the above, you are requested to provide the implication of the relocation to the management.”


However, AYCF believes that these relocations to Lagos pose a significant threat to Abuja’s status as the capital city and could have negative implications for the nation as a whole.


The President General of the AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, at a press conference in Kaduna on Friday, expressed concern over the potential consequences that could arise from the relocations of the agencies.


He emphasised that the move risked undermining national unity, disrupting operations, causing economic setbacks as well as perpetuating regional imbalances.


He argued that Abuja was deliberately chosen as the capital to promote national unity and decentralise power, noting that any agenda that seek to tamper with the arrangement would be fiercely resisted by the north.


Shettima expressed his disappointment over what he termed the complicit silence of the Northern elite “regarding these provocations.”


According to him, the Northern elite must not be silent when the political and economic viability of the region is at stake.


He also urged well-meaning Nigerians to speak out against this emerging arbitrariness while calling on the relevant authorities to halt the relocations in light of the potential harm it might cause to Abuja’s status as the capital city.


“The organisation urges decision-makers to prioritise national unity and ensure that any actions taken do not perpetuate regional imbalances or compromise the political and economic viability of Northern Nigeria.


“AYCF remains committed to its mission of promoting unity and development in Northern Nigeria and the nation as a whole and vows to continue advocating for the preservation of Abuja’s status as the capital city and to resist any attempts to undermine national unity,” he added.


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