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Controversy trails ‘decongestion’ of CBN’s headquarters

There is a growing controversy over plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the leadership of Dr Yemi Cardoso to decongest the headquarters…

There is a growing controversy over plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the leadership of Dr Yemi Cardoso to decongest the headquarters of the bank located at the Central Business District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

To decongest the headquarters of the apex bank, key departments will be transferred from Abuja to Lagos, its former headquarters. A total of 1,533 members of staff of the bank are expected to be affected.

Findings by Daily Trust on Sunday show that the departments penciled down for relocation by the CBN governor are: Banking Supervision; Other Financial Institutions Supervision; Consumer Protection Department; Payment System Management Department and Financial Policy Regulations Department.

Part of the memo seen by Daily Trust on Sunday reads, “This is to notify all staff members at the CBN head office that we have initiated a decongestion action plan designed to optimise the operational environment of the bank.

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“This initiative aims to ensure compliance with building safety standards and enhance the efficient utilisation 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 talents 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 optimising the utilisation of other bank’s premises. With this plan, 1,533 staff will be moved to other CBN facilities within Abuja, Lagos and understaffed branches.

Attempt to get official reaction from the CBN was not successful as the Director of Corporate Communication, Hakama Sidi Ali, could not be reached. However, a management source who prefers anonymity because he has no permission to speak on the issue said the move was true but not entirely as publicly reported.

 The source said, “The headquarters was designed to accommodate slightly over 2,000 staff members but currently has over 4,000. So, about 1,533 staff members have to be relocated.

“The second reason is that departments like Banking Supervision and Payment Systems have the bulk of their work domiciled in Lagos, so it makes proper administrative sense to operate out of Lagos.

“So, as we speak, 80 per cent of them are headed back to Lagos because they have no business in Abuja.”

Daily Trust on Sunday finding also shows that some other staff will be posted to a state branch of the CBN, especially where they are understaffed.

The move has been generating different reactions, particularly on social media. While some Twitter users see it as a welcome development, others said it has an undertone.

Below are some reactions:

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