The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has expressed concerned over the reported plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to relocate major departments from the Abuja headquarters to the former headquarters in Lagos.
NEF made this known a statement signed by Abdul-Azeez Suleiman Director Publicity and Advocacy/Spokesperson and made available to journalists yesterday.
According to the statement, CBN has a well-established workforce in Abuja, including professionals with significant knowledge and experience. Moving key departments to Lagos may lead to a loss of skilled employees who are unable or unwilling to relocate. This brain drain could negatively impact the CBN’s performance and efficiency.
” Relocation would lead to a temporary disruption in the CBN’s operations. Employees would need time to adjust to their new surroundings, potentially causing delays in decision-making and implementation. The transition period could result in reduced productivity, inefficient processes, and decreased service levels, further impacting the CBN’s effectiveness.
Moving key departments to a different geographical location would hinder effective coordination and communication with other government agencies in Abuja. The CBN, as the nation’s monetary authority, relies on close cooperation with other bodies, such as the Ministry of Finance and relevant regulatory authorities. Physical separation may lead to increased bureaucracy and slower response times, negatively affecting policy formulation and execution.
Shifting key departments to Lagos, which is located in the southwestern part of Nigeria, would exacerbate regional economic disparities. The concentration of such important positions and offices in one region may perpetuate the perception of Lagos as the economic center, potentially marginalizing other regions, especially Northern Nigeria. This could lead to increased feelings of neglect or economic imbalance, creating social and political tensions.
Relocating key departments away from the nation’s capital could send a negative signal to both local and international investors. It may raise concerns about political stability, policy consistency, and the government’s commitment to regional inclusiveness. This could lead to reduced investor confidence in the Nigerian economy, ultimately impacting foreign direct investment, capital inflows, and overall economic growth.
Northern Nigeria already faces various economic challenges, such as poverty, unemployment, and insecurity. Moving key departments away from Abuja would exacerbate the imbalance in economic development between the northern and southern regions. It 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.
We urge government to evaluate the potential drawbacks of such a move thoroughly. It is important to consider the impact on Abuja’s role as the capital city, the potential repercussions on regional development and economic balance, and the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the relocated departments in serving their intended purpose.
We call upon the CBN and relevant authorities to thoroughly review the consequences of this relocation and explore alternative arrangements that do not compromise the career growth and work-life balance of its valuable employees. It is essential to ensure that the burden of relocation is not unfairly placed on the shoulders of these individuals and their families.