The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has strongly opposed the recent move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to relocate certain key departments from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to Lagos State. Additionally, the forum expressed disapproval of the plan to shift the headquarters of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from the nation’s capital to Lagos.
The rejection comes in response to an internal memo issued last week by FAAN’s Managing Director, Olubunmi Kuku, revealing that Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Festus Keyamo, had directed the relocation of FAAN’s headquarters to Lagos. Similarly, the CBN unveiled a decongestion action plan aimed at optimizing its operational environment by relocating specific units to Lagos.
In a statement released on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Prof. T. A. Muhammad-Baba, the ACF alleged that these moves were part of a larger scheme to underdevelop the northern region of Nigeria.
According to the statement, “The CBN’s decision is by no means an isolated or normal administrative action to fix some logistics problem. Rather, it fits into a disturbing pattern of antagonistic actions often taken by certain federal administrations against the interests of Northern and other parts of Nigeria.”
The ACF expressed concern that the announcements by CBN and FAAN appeared to be precipitous and motivated by questionable intentions. The forum pointed out that, within the Ministry of Aviation, only 8 out of the recently appointed 40 directors are from the northern region.
The statement from the ACF underscored the historical significance of the capital’s relocation from Lagos to Abuja decades ago, emphasizing that the decision was made for valid reasons that remain constitutionally relevant today. The ACF urged all stakeholders to consider the constitutional implications of such moves and emphasized the need to uphold the principles that led to the establishment of Abuja as the nation’s capital.