Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
As the dust raised by the planned relocation of certain departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, from Abuja to Lagos is yet to settle, former Secretary to Abia State Government, Dr Eme Okoro, has criticised the recent move, describing it as “counter-productive and politically inexpedient.”
The former SSG, therefore, advised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to counter the move, arguing that it amounts to a reversal of the decision by past leaders of the country to relocate Nigeria’s capital from “the over congested Lagos to Abuja.”
Recall that Northern Elders Forum as well as Arewa Youths, had respectively condemned the move, claiming it was a ploy to undermine the development of the North.
Dr Okoro who spoke with Ikengaonline, argued that the directive to return any Government agency from Abuja to Lagos, negated the decision to decongest Lagos by moving the Nigeria Capital to Abuja some decades ago.
The elder statesman who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, advised Tinubu against giving approval to any policy that would reverse or defeat the aim of making Abuja Nigeria’s capital.
He said: “The plan by the Federal Government to return some departments of the Central Bank and some agencies to Lagos is very objectionable.
“The reason we created a new capital in Abuja was because of the congestion in Lagos. It’s anti-productive and politically inexpedient to do so.
“Why wouldn’t they allow all the CBN departments to be domiciled in Abuja and discharge their duties from there? There is totally no basis for doing so because Abuja is now the FCT, and not Lagos. The purpose of creating FCT in Abuja should not be reversed.”
The former SSG further argued that digitalisation and technology had made it convenient for any CBN department to function effectively from Abuja instead of retuning to Lagos.
He also argued why the Federal Government would not direct that oil companies would relocate their operational headquarters to Nigeria Delta region.
“Why then is it impossible for oil companies to move their operational headquarters to Port Harcourt? Is it because we have gotten a President of Yoruba extraction that they will say, let’s return to Lagos?”