A significant controversy is unfolding over the recent plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to relocate key departments from its headquarters in the Federal Capital Territory’s Central Business District to Lagos. The move, led by CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso, aims to decongest the apex bank’s headquarters but has triggered mixed reactions.
Departments earmarked for relocation include Banking Supervision, Other Financial Institutions Supervision, Consumer Protection Department, Payment System Management Department, and Financial Policy Regulations Department. The shift is expected to impact a total of 1,533 CBN staff members.
A memo obtained by Daily Trust on Sunday outlined the rationale for the move, emphasizing the need to comply with building safety standards, enhance operational efficiency, redistribute skills for a more even geographical spread, and align the bank’s structure with its functions and objectives.
The memo stated, “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.”
According to a source within the CBN management who spoke anonymously, the headquarters, designed for slightly over 2,000 staff members, currently accommodates over 4,000. The relocation decision aims to optimize office space and comply with building regulations.
The source clarified, “80 per cent of them are headed back to Lagos because they have no business in Abuja.”
The move has sparked varied reactions, with some expressing concerns over the potential disruptions to the bank’s operations and the impact on affected staff members. The CBN management assures that the relocation is part of an initiative to enhance operational efficiency and compliance with necessary regulations.