ACF Rejects Relocation Of FAAN HQ To Lagos

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has described relocation of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) headquarters to Lagos as a ploy to further underdevelop Northern Nigeria.

According to, the group also kicked against the relocation of a unit of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Lagos.

 

The ACF, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Professor Tukur Muhammad-Baba, said, “It is easy to ignore such planned actions by the CBN and FAAN but it is impossible to fail to see in them a clear pattern of thinly disguised marginalisation of the North.

 

“The CBN recently announced the relocation of some of its key departments from Abuja to Lagos, understandably sparking a wave of anxiety and outcry from many Nigerians, especially Northerners who, obviously would be most adversely affected by the spontaneous exercise.

 

 

“The CBN’s decision is no means isolated or normal administrative action to fix some logistics problem. Rather, it fits into a disturbing pattern of antagonistic actions often taken by certain federal administrations against the interests of Northern and other parts of Nigeria. The CBN’s announcement was followed by another from the Federal Ministry of Aviation’s Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) plans to also relocate to Lagos, due to shortage of office space and claim of the volume of air traffic handled by Lagos. The proposed actions of the two agencies, i.e. CBN and FAAN are precipitous and mala fide.

 

“Still in the Ministry of Aviation, only 8 of 40 directors recently appointed are from the North! As if deliberately designed to be made public in drip-drip fashion, a leaked letter to the Minister of Aviation from a contractor, AVSATEL, became public, wherein the company sought permission to relocate the project for refurbishing Airport Rescue and FireFighting Vehicles (ARFF) from Katsina to “the south” or Abuja, but sneakily mentioning Lagos, Ibadan or Enugu. AVSATEL sought to rationalise its suggestion on issues that should have been in the scope of the works when the company bided for the job but which it clearly ignored then.”

 

He recalled that, “President Obasanjo’s first action in office in 1999, was to order the relocation of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), from Abuja, the federal capital, to Lagos. Today almost all agencies and institutions responsible for the marine economy and especially the sea ports, are concentrated at Lagos, which retains undisturbed monopoly over port operations and sea traffic in and out of Nigeria, even as Calabar, Uyo and Port Harcourt offer as much if not better facilities.

 

“Northern Nigeria in particular has long lived under the shadow of these threats and has endured a series of calamities as a result. It was only the successful discovery and exploration of oil along the Kolmani River, in Gombe State, that discredited the propaganda that oil does not exist in the North.

The vile propaganda was to discourage the investment of resources looking for oil up North. Sadly, such has also been the case with a number of other federal projects meant to be located anywhere in the North, such as dredging of rivers Niger and Benue (so that the North remains landlocked), Mambila Hydroelectric Dam (Kainji and Shiroro are dams too many to be up North!), grazing reserves for the development of the livestock sub-sector, to list but a few. For decades, certain powerful interests within the Federal Government, who seem scared of the North, have refused to allow the projects to be undertaken.”

 

 

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