Nigeria: Sanusi Backs Relocation of CBN’s Departments to Lagos

A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has supported the planned relocation of five CBN departments from the head office in Abuja to Lagos.

Sanusi, the 14th Emir of Kano, referred to those opposing the move as “dangerous for the bank’s future” and emphasised the importance of putting the bank’s interests before personal attachments to Abuja.

He alleged that many employees were children of politically exposed individuals who prioritised their lifestyles and businesses in Abuja over their work at the bank.

He believed that relocating certain functions to the larger Lagos office would streamline operations, making them more effective and reducing costs.

Sanusi suggested that the Financial Systems Stability (FSS) department and most operations should be moved to Lagos with the two deputy governors operating primarily from there.

He also recommended that departments reporting directly to the governor such as economic policy, corporate services, strategy, audit, risk management and the governor’s office should remain in Abuja.

Sanusi argued that the CBN’s decision to relocate certain departments to Lagos was a strategic one that required proper analysis to determine which roles were better suited to each location.

He stressed the importance of clear communication regarding the strategic intent to avoid misrepresentation and arbitrariness.

Regarding concerns about the office structure’s ability to handle the staff number, Sanusi dismissed the argument, suggesting that construction company, Julius Berger, could refute it if asked.

Sanusi also called for individual situations to be considered, showing empathy towards young mothers with children in school or those with medical conditions who might not need to relocate.

He urged the CBN to focus on its key mandates of controlling the exchange rate and inflation, as regaining control and credibility in these areas would make the governor “untouchable” and enable the implementation of necessary changes despite opposition.

Drawing from his experience, Sanusi recalled facing religious objections when licensing Jaiz Bank, but that he stood firm and licensed it, asserting that the bank’s religious nature did not hinder its success.

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