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No plan to relocate Federal Capital to Lagos – Presidency

The Presidency has defended the relocation of some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) headquarters…

The Presidency has defended the relocation of some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) headquarters to Lagos, saying there was no plant to relocate the Federal Capital Territory from Abuja back to Lagos.

This followed the opposition of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Northern senators to the planned relocation.

The ACF, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Professor Tukur Muhammad-Baba, described the relocation of the FAAN headquarters to Lagos as a ploy to further underdevelop Northern Nigeria.

The lawmakers, under the aegis of Northern Senators Forum, pledged to engage the executive in peaceful negotiations and deploy legal measures where necessary to address the issue.

The CBN and FAAN recently announced plans to relocate some of their offices to Lagos due to congestion of some departments, and for FAAN to ensure seamless operations and save costs.

Mr. Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, in a post on his X handle on Wednesday, apparently reacting to the development, said President Tinubu had no plan whatsoever to move the Federal Capital to Lagos.

He said administrative decisions should not be politicised, warning that those pushing this campaign of falsehood were “dangerous politics to pit the North against the South.”

The post on his handle @aonanuga1956 read: “President Tinubu has no plan whatsoever to move the Federal Capital to Lagos. The rumour first surfaced during the campaign last year by opponents looking for all manners of weapons to stop him. We trashed it.

“Those peddling it anew are dishonest, ethnic and regional champions, trying to draw attention to themselves. Abuja has come to stay. It is backed by law.

“The movement of FAAN, a department of Aviation Ministry to Lagos, where it was based before former minister Hadi Sirika moved it to Abuja during the last administration, does not amount to moving the FCT to Lagos. The administrative move should have attracted scant attention, as Lagos is the commercial capital and the hub of aviation business in Nigeria. FAAN should be no where else but near the industry it regulates. FAAN will still maintain some presence in Abuja, as it is not a wholesale movement.

“Similarly, the movement of some departments of the CBN to Lagos should not trigger any hoopla. The departments concerned, including the bank supervision department, are those dealing with commercial banks, all with headquarters in Lagos. A regulator ought to be close to the businesses it regulates.

“All those pushing this campaign of falsehood know they are playing politics, albeit a dangerous politics to pit the North against the South.

“There are many parastatals that are not based in Abuja depending on their mandate. NIMASA is in Lagos. So is NPA. National Inland Waterways Authority( NIWA) is in Lokoja, not Abuja. Will the people opposing the movement of FAAN and some CBN departments want those agencies to be in Abuja, where there is no single port and no maritime activity?

“Administrative decisions should not be politicized. Let it not look like whenever we are temporarily not at the helm of affairs, we create all manners of dangerous rumours to distract from the bigger picture and emasculate an administration led by a southerner. Let’s stop the dirty politics. We can’t be playing politics with everything.”

 

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