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‘CBN’s decision to relocate departments to Lagos politically motivated’

The decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to relocate some of its departments from its headquarters in Abuja to Lagos has been described as politically motivated.
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), which stated this in a statement on Sunday, said the decision by by Olayemi Cardoso-led CBN, directly smacks of the notoriously petty politics that go on in some states of whereby new governors move state universities to their local government areas.

Besides, HURIWA said it makes no logical sense to give a reason of attempting to decongest the Abuja headquarters of the CBN as a reason for transferring departments of the CBN to Lagos when that same reason of over -congestion of the entire Lagos state was the fundamental reason why the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja was set up in the first place by law.

The rights group said the decision by the new CBN chief is tantamount to disrespecting section 298 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) which states unambiguously that the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja shall be the capital of the Federation and seat of government of the Federation.

HURIWA, in a statement made available to Abujapress by its national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, argued that the enabling Act that set up the CBN prescribes the legal functions to include that it is the official Banker of the government of the Federation which emphatically means that the CBN must be domiciled wherever the seat of government is located by law which for now is Abuja.

HURIWA said it is a fallacy to say that some departments must be domiciled in Lagos because of the puerile and laughable reason that most banks have their headquarters in Lagos as if the CBN is subservient or is supposed to follow the operational plans of commercial banks.

HURIWA accused Cardoso of executing ethnic agenda by attempting to move strategic departments of the CBN to his state of origin which is Lagos just as the group wondered if erstwhile governor of the apex bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had moved some departments to Delta, his state of origin, whether the Lagos born CBN governor will still have other departments to move to Lagos as is being contemplated.

“We think Mr. Cardoso, the Lagos man may be seeing his designation as governor just like that of elected political office of a governor which is why he is trying to experiment with the unethical practice of some governors in some states who upon getting inaugurated, decide in a thoughtless and whimsical manner to relocate long established state owned universities from where they were originally located to their own side of the state as if to say the state is their personal property.

“The decision or plot to relocate departments of CBN to Lagos is politically motivated and must never be allowed to happen or else we will wake up one morning to hear that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has moved the state house back to Lagos which by law stopped being the Federal capital territory the moment Abuja became the FCT by the General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida military regime in the early 1990s, ” the group said.

HURIWA also faulted the plan to relocate the departments to Lagos because the headquarters of banks are in Lagos when in actual facts those commercial banks should have been asked to set up their corporate or administrative offices in Abuja by virtue of the fact that Abuja by law is the FCT of Nigeria.

The Rights group said the new hierarchy of the CBN by planning to move departments of the bank to Lagos is dragging the hand of the clock backwards in Nigeria.

“This ethnic agenda by the Lagos born CBN Governor must be aborted and the CBN is a banking regulator of all of Nigeria and not for banks domiciled in Lagos only,” the statement added.

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