‘To reduce expenses’ — FG addresses relocation of FAAN, CBN offices to Lagos


Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national
orientation, says the relocation of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria
(FAAN) headquarters and certain departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) to Lagos are not politically motivated.


The decision had drawn criticism and support, with Ali
Ndume, chief whip of the senate, saying it would have political consequences,
but Muhammadu Sanusi, former CBN governor, said it was a sensible move.


In a statement on Sunday, Idris said the allegations were
“unfounded”, noting the relocation is a practical step to improve the
operational competence and reduce the cost of operation.


He said the relocation was not to marginalise any section of
the country.


 “It is not true that
the relocation to Lagos of the headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority
of Nigeria (FAAN), and of certain departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN), are political moves aimed at marginalizing a section of the country,”
Idris said.


“These allegations are unfounded. Instead, these are
pragmatic administrative steps to improve operational efficiency and reduce
operating costs.”


The minister underscored the federal government’s efforts to
mitigate the impact of inflation on citizens through its initiatives like the
students’ loan scheme, reduced cost of CNG mass transit buses, and various
low-interest loan schemes for businesses.


 “Regarding the
economy, all relevant ministries and agencies of the federal government are
working in coordinated fashion, to bring down inflation, stabilize foreign
exchange rates, and create a truly enabling environment for business and
investment. The Nigeria that President Tinubu seeks to build is one where no one
is left behind,” he said.


“Impactful interventions are being rolled out, including a
students’ loan scheme, a presidential initiative to deploy lower-cost CNG mass
transit buses to provide alternatives to petrol and diesel, and various
low-interest loan schemes for businesses.


“The CNG interventions will bring down the cost of
transportation by more than 50 percent. We urge Nigerians to take advantage of
these opportunities as they emerge, as they have been designed for the benefit
of all.”


Idris said the federal government under the leadership of
President Bola Tinubu, is particular about ending the menace of banditry in the


Idris commended the effort of the security and intelligence
agencies in ensuring the safety of the citizens and that criminals are smoked
out of their hideouts.


“In the area of security, all threats are being boldly
confronted. We are taking the fight to the criminals’ dens, with promising
results. Within the last week, several bandits, kidnappers and militants have
been neutralized or arrested,” the minister said.


“The resurgent crisis in Plateau State is indeed highly
regrettable, and we assure that all perpetrators of violence there, and
everywhere else in the country, are being brought to book. Justice will be
done, and peace will be restored in all affected communities.


“We salute the gallantry of security and intelligence
agencies who are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that we are safe in our
homes and on the highways, and that criminals have no breathing space.”


Commenting on the Nigerian stock market performance in 2024,
Idris said the bourse has been on the positive side since the beginning of the
year, attracting global investors, which will see the country make
developmental progress.


“In the opening weeks of 2024, our stock market has already
put us on the global map for the impressive returns being delivered. The Indian
businesses that pledged $14 billion in new investment in Nigeria on the
sidelines of the G20 summit in India in September 2023 have since started
making good on those pledges,” He said.


“Across oil and gas, agriculture, consumer goods, renewable
energy, healthcare, ICT and many other fields we are seeing global and local
businesses demonstrating unshakable belief in the limitless possibilities that
Nigeria embodies.”


The minister also praised the performance of the Super
Eagles at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, noting that their victory was a
reminder of Nigeria’s unity in diversity.


“The heartwarming exploits of our beloved Super Eagles at
the ongoing African cup of nations in Cote d’Ivoire are another case in point;
a timely reminder that the things that bind us together as one is much deeper
than the things that separate and divide us,” he said.


Idris said despite the temporary challenges and setbacks
Nigerians face from time to time, a glorious dawn is around the corner.


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