“Relocation of CBN’s departments will weaken North, other regions” – Northern Elders Forum

The Northern Elders Forum, (NEF), has stated that the planned relocation of key Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) departments to Lagos will only serve to further strengthen the already dominant position of Lagos, while potentially weakening the significance and role of Abuja.

Recall that the apex bank had announced its plan to transfer some of its departments to the nation’s commercial nerve centre, Lagos State.

However, the Forum, in an issued statement, signed by its Director of Publicity and Advocacy/Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, asserted that the movement would involve increased costs, loss of talent, disruption in operations, reduced coordination, regional economic disparities, impaired economic development in northern Nigeria, as well as decreased investor confidence in the nation’s economy.  

The Forum explained that the concentration of such important positions and offices in one region may perpetuate the perception of Lagos as the economic centre, potentially marginalising other regions, especially Northern Nigeria.

It noted that it could lead to increased feelings of neglect or economic imbalance, and the creation of social and political tensions.

According to NEF, “Northern Nigeria already faces various economic challenges, such as poverty, unemployment, and insecurity”, and therefore moving key departments away from Abuja would exacerbate the imbalance in economic development between the northern and southern regions, which it said could hinder the flow of investments, infrastructure development, and job-creation opportunities in the North, thereby stifling economic growth and exacerbating the existing socio-economic challenges.

NEF, therefore, called on the CBN and relevant authorities to thoroughly review the consequences of the proposed relocation, as well as explore alternative arrangements which does not compromise the career growth and work-life balance of its valuable employees.

“While the NEF acknowledges the CBN’s desire to improve efficiency and effectiveness, we are worried about the potential negative impact of relocating these essential departments on both the institution itself and the nation as a whole”, it emphasised.

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