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Despite North’s Displeasure, 1,500 Central Bank of Nigeria Staff Relocate to Lagos

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ABUJA, Nigeria – In a significant move within Nigeria’s financial sector, no fewer than 1,500 staff members of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are set to relocate from Abuja to Lagos, with reports indicating they are expected to commence work at their new postings this Friday.

On Tuesday, January 30, 2024, Punch Newspaper, citing a source from the apex bank, confirms that despite heavy criticism, the relocation process from the Abuja headquarters is underway.

The decision to move some of its departments to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, was explained by the bank’s management as a strategy to enhance staff safety, increase productivity, and decongest its head office.

“Yes, the plan is still on and they will resume work by February 2, which is the first week of next month,” the source was quoted.

The relocation plan initially sparked protests and criticism, particularly from groups and individuals in the North, who perceived the move as an ethnic agenda by President Bola Tinubu.

Critics, including Ali Ndume, Senate Chief Whip representing Borno South, condemned the decision. Ndume attributed the move to the influence of “Lagos Boys,” warning of political consequences and urging the President to reconsider the decision.

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the 14th Emir of Kano and former Central Bank Governor, alongside Vice President Kashim Shettima, intervened in the debate.

The CBN had previously outlined several reasons for the relocation, including the need to align the bank’s structure with its functions and objectives, redistribute skills for a more balanced geographical talent spread, and comply with building regulations.

This decision followed warnings from the facility manager and recommendations from the Committee on Decongestion of the Central Bank Head Office.

A memo circulated within the bank stated, “This is to notify all staff members at the CBN Head Office that we have initiated a decongestion action plan designed to optimize the operational environment of the Bank.”

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