Katsina Elders Forum Opposes Relocation of CBN Departments and Airport Project to Lagos

The Katsina Elders Forum has expressed its strong objection to the planned relocation of some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and a key airport project from Katsina State to Lagos State. The Forum urged President Bola Tinubu to intervene and stop the relocation, saying it is against Nigeria’s best interest.

The Forum’s Secretary, Aliyu Mohammed, made this known at a press conference on Wednesday in Katsina, the state capital. He said the relocation decision was unwarranted and unconstitutional, and would undermine the economy of the North.

Mohammed said: “We are here to brief you on a recent unfortunate development that we want the Federal Government to address. We have seen a letter written by a contractor to the minister of aviation, proposing to move the hanger project from the Katsina Airport to the south, suggesting places like Enugu, Calabar or Lagos. This must have been instigated by either the minister of aviation or one of his associates. They have not given any valid reason for this. The reasons they gave us were very flimsy. They mentioned things like unskilled labour, the distance between Lagos and Katsina, and lack of water, among other things.

“This project was awarded by the previous government in 2022 and the contractors started the work immediately. It is very surprising and unfortunate that the same contractor who agreed to do the job is now seeking to relocate this very important project from Katsina to Lagos.

“We are calling on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the minister of aviation, and whoever is responsible to respect the wishes of the Katsina Elders’ Forum and the people of Katsina State. We are vehemently opposed to this relocation decision and we are warning the Federal Government not to tamper with this vital project. There is a University of Transportation in Daura that could benefit from this project in Katsina.

“Another area of concern is the movement of about 11 critical departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria from Abuja to Lagos. This is a deliberate attempt to cripple the economy of the North. These departments provide essential services and facilities to the North and Northerners. Moving them to Lagos will make it difficult for us to access them.

“We are calling on President Tinubu to urgently reverse this decision, otherwise, the North will not support him again. He has given us some reasons that are unacceptable. It is unwise for Tinubu to make these decisions after the North elected him into power. He is violating the constitution of Nigeria.

“We are therefore warning him to reverse these unwarranted and unconstitutional decisions. Whoever is advising the President to make such decisions is an enemy of the country and does not care about Nigeria’s development.

“We are not ready to reelect him in 2027 if he continues with these decisions. Despite all the challenges of insecurity in the North, Tinubu has not done anything to address them. The Forum, on behalf of Northern Nigeria and Nigerians in general, wants President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to revisit these decisions and have a rethink.

“He should reshuffle his cabinet and bring in patriotic Nigerians who will advise him to work in the interest of Nigerians.”

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