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Lamido Sanusi backs CBN unit relocation to Lagos

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Former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has backed the decision to relocate some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria from Abuja to Lagos, describing it as a sensible move.

He criticized those opposing the relocation, dismissing it as political maneuvering.

Sanusi stated, “Moving certain functions to the Lagos office (which is bigger than the Abuja head office) is an eminently sensible move.” He revealed that he had contemplated a similar action during his tenure but lacked sufficient time to implement it fully.

“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 explained.

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He proposed that economic policy, corporate services, and departments reporting directly to the Governor, such as Strategy, Audit, Risk Management, and Governors’ office, remain in Abuja.

Sanusi dismissed opposition to the policy as “absolutely unnecessary,” highlighting that the CBN has staff across the country. He emphasized the need to streamline operations and reduce costs. He criticized some employees prioritizing their “spoilt Abuja life and businesses” over their CBN duties.

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He cautioned against bending to political pressure, advising the CBN Governor to push through decisions. “Once the CBN starts bending to political pressure on one thing, it will continue doing so,” he warned.

Sanusi urged strategic analysis to identify roles suited for Lagos and Abuja, emphasizing the importance of clear communication to avoid misrepresentation. He suggested considering individual situations during the relocation, prioritizing certain cases for empathy.

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“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,” Sanusi advised.

He urged the CBN to rise above ethnic and religious sentiments, emphasizing the need for resilience in making unpopular decisions.

“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 concluded.

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