President Bola Tinubu has no plans to move the Federal Capital Territory to Lagos.
Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
Onanuga’s clarification is coming on the heels of speculations that the president was planning to relocate the federal capital to Lagos State after a department under the Ministry of Aviation, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, moved some of its departments to Lagos.
Onanuga, on his official X (formerly Twitter) handle, recalled that the rumour began during the 2023 general elections campaign and was trashed.
He said, “President Tinubu has no plan whatsoever to move the Federal Capital to Lagos. The rumour first surfaced during the campaign last year by opponents looking for all manners of weapons to stop him. We trashed it.
“Those peddling it anew are dishonest, ethnic and regional champions, trying to draw attention to themselves. Abuja has come to stay. It is backed by law.
“The movement of FAAN, a department of the Aviation Ministry to Lagos, where it was based before former minister Hadi Sirika moved it to Abuja during the last administration, does not amount to moving the FCT to Lagos.
“The administrative move should have attracted scant attention, as Lagos is the commercial capital and the hub of aviation business in Nigeria. FAAN should be nowhere else but near the industry it regulates. FAAN will still maintain some presence in Abuja, as it is not a wholesale movement.”
He said the movement of some of the CBN departments to Lagos caused another outburst, adding that the departments are directly working with commercial banks which are all headquartered in Lagos and regulators ought to be close to the businesses it regulates.
According to Onanuga, “All those pushing this campaign of falsehood know they are playing politics, albeit a dangerous politics to pitch the North against the South.
“There are many parastatals that are not based in Abuja depending on their mandate. NIMASA is in Lagos. So is NPA. The National Inland Waterways Authority( NIWA) is in Lokoja, not Abuja. Will the people opposing the movement of FAAN and some CBN departments want those agencies to be in Abuja, where there is no single port and no maritime activity?
“Administrative decisions should not be politicized. Let it not look like whenever we are temporarily not at the helm of affairs, we create all manners of dangerous rumours to distract from the bigger picture and emasculate an administration led by a Southerner. Let’s stop the dirty politics. We can’t be playing politics with everything.”