Sanusi Backs Relocation of CBN Departments to Lagos

January 25, 2024
sanusi yemi cardoso

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The proposed relocation of a few departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Lagos from Abuja has continued to generate reactions and the latest person to speak on the matter is the former Emir of Kano, Mr Lamido Sanusi.

The deposed traditional ruler, who once headed the central bank, said there is nothing wrong with transferring some departments to Lagos by the apex bank, under the leadership of Mr Yemi Cardoso.

Some northern politicians and elders have kicked against this move, saying it was a ploy to deny the region of the country of development.

Commenting on the issue in a statement, Mr Sanusi described the relocation as “an eminently sensible move,” noting that, “It makes eminent strategic sense, and I would have done this if I had stayed.”

“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,” he added.

He suggested that “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.”

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

“The problem we have now is that many employees are children of politically exposed persons and their Abuja life and businesses are more important than the CBN work.

“The CBN is just an address for them and if they have to choose between their spoilt Abuja life and the job, they would gladly leave the CBN.

“All the more reason for the Governor to put his foot down and get rid of those elements they are dangerous for the bank’s future

“The question of locating functions is a strategic and not 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.”

He advised Mr Cardoso “to go ahead with his policy,” emphasising that, “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 in court on religious grounds. I ignored it and licenced the bank. Nothing happened.

“A Christian Governor after me licenced at least two more non-interest banks. No one is even noticing again.

“Ethnic and religious bigots will always shout. The CBN should rise above it and just do what needs to be done. It is a very unpopular and difficult job and the Governor needs to be tough,” he stated.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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