Senator Ali Ndume, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Army, has issued a stern warning to President Bola Tinubu regarding the potential political fallout if the proposed relocation of some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) headquarters to Lagos is implemented.
In an interview on Channels TV on Tuesday, January 23, Senator Ndume expressed concern that the President is being misled by what he termed a “Lagos Boys” cartel. He argued that these individuals lack a comprehensive understanding of how Nigeria operates and may not be equipped to assist the President in dealing with the repercussions of such a decision.
The controversy arises from an internal memo by the CBN, indicating a plan to move some offices to Lagos due to congestion, and the government’s announcement to relocate the FAAN headquarters for operational efficiency and cost-saving purposes.
Senator Ndume criticized the decision, suggesting that if congestion was the issue, more proximate locations like Nasarawa, Kaduna, or Kogi should be considered, rather than the distant city of 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,” Senator Ndume remarked, emphasizing that the decision could have political consequences.
He cautioned against the influence of “Lagos Boys” who may not be present to correct political mistakes or address the fallout. Senator Ndume reminded President Tinubu that his election wasn’t solely dependent on votes from Lagos and urged him to reconsider the relocation decision.
He stated, “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.”
Senator Ndume argued that Lagos does not represent the entirety of Nigeria, emphasizing that the proposed relocation would not only increase operational costs but also pose risks to the lives of workers who would need to travel frequently.
“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 concluded.