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Former CBN governor Sanusi backs relocation of apex bank’s departments to Lagos

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the relocation of some departments of the apex bank from Abuja to Lagos was a sensible move.

Lamido-Sanusi. Photo Credit: Council on Foreign Relations
Lamido-Sanusi. Photo Credit: Council on Foreign Relations

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the relocation of some departments of the apex bank from Abuja to Lagos was a sensible move.

The media reported that the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) had kicked against the relocation of CBN departments to Lagos, describing the move as a deliberate plot against the northern region.

Reacting to the development, Sanusi, who was the 14th Emir of Kano, in a statement said that “moving certain functions to the Lagos office (which is bigger than the Abuja head office) is an eminently sensible move”.

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The former CBN governor who was quoted by The Nation, said, “In my mind what I would have done was to move FSS and most of operations to Lagos such that the two Deputy Governors would be largely operating out of Lagos or, even if they were more in Abuja, the bulk of their operational staff would be in Lagos.

“Economic policy, corporate services and all the departments reporting to the Governor directly such as Strategy, Audit, Risk management, Governors’ office, etc would remain in Abuja.”

“Moving staff to the Lagos office to streamline operations and make them more effective and reduce cost is a normal prerogative of management,” Sanusi added.

According to him, “The question of locating functions is a STRATEGIC and not a tactical one. A proper analysis should be done to identify which roles are best suited to Lagos and which to Abuja.

“Once the logic is clear, the people then follow. Non-communication of strategic intent opens the door to mischievous misrepresentation and arbitrariness.

“I don’t like the idea of arguing that the office structure cannot handle the staff numbers. I am sure Julius Berger would refute that if they wanted to engage.”

Speaking on the relocation of staff, he suggested: “Individual situations should be considered as much as possible we should be empathetic. For example, young mothers with kids in school who do not need to move can be prioritised to stay in Abuja or those with medical conditions, etc.

“My advice to the Governor is to go ahead with his policy. Once the CBN starts bending to political pressure on one thing it will continue doing so.

“Northern politicians will shout that this is moving from Abuja to Lagos. Abuja is a federal capital, not a northern issue. So long as this is a principled decision the noise should be ignored.”

“When I was about to license Jaiz Bank there was a lot of religious noise from CAN etc. Even enlightened people like Okey Emelamah were going to sue me to court on religious grounds. I ignored it and licenced the bank. Nothing happened,” he added.

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