Senator Ndume Warns Tinubu On Consequences Of Relocating FAAN, CBN To Lagos


The Chairman, Senate Committee on the Army, Senator Ali Ndume, yesterday warned President Bola Tinubu that there will be political consequences if he insists on moving some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) headquarters to Lagos.

Maintaining that the president was being misled by a cartel he termed “Lagos Boys”, Ndume who spoke on Channels Television, argued that the so-called members of the cartel do not know how Nigeria works and will not be able to help the President when the repercussions come.

The CBN in an internal memo had recently said it was moving some offices of the apex bank to Lagos due to congestion of some departments. Also, the government announced that it was relocating the headquarters of FAAN to ensure seamless operations and save costs.

But Ndume argued that if the offices were being moved due to congestion, the best place would be Nasarawa, Kaduna or Kogi and other states surrounding Abuja, for the sake of proximity, instead of faraway 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.

“We will not accept it. Besides, you know, they are not doing any favour to Mr. President, because this will have political consequence. 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,” he said.

He emphasised that it was not the votes from Lagos that brought Tinubu to office, advising him to jettison any plans to implement the relocation decision.

Ndume said there’s  a consensus in the North against the move by the president because there’s only one federal capital, which is Abuja.

“All these Lagos boys that are thinking that Lagos is Nigeria are just misinforming or advising the president wrongly. The regulators or the financial institutions are supposed to be in Abuja. Now, you want them to move because you say Lagos is the commercial capital. This is one of the mistakes.

“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 headquarters of the CBN is in Lagos?

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

He insisted that Lagos does not represent the whole of Nigeria, explaining that there will not only be increase in cost of operations but risk to the lives of workers who will constantly be flying by air or on the road, if it eventually happens.

 “This is a decision that is not well thought out. And I think the president will reverse it. I’m confident that. And if that does not happen, of course, this is democracy and we know what to do,” he boasted.

 He urged the president to rescind the decision, stressing that he (Ndume) is neither Hausa nor Fulani, but a northerner and a Nigerian.

“CBN has offices that they can rent or build on their own to increase efficiency, but moving some departments to Lagos is not the best of ideas at all or moving any agency at all,” he added.

While expressing optimism that the decision will be reversed, Ndume advised the president to ignore the so-called cartel.