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Monday, February 26, 2024

Tinubu has no plan to move FCT to Lagos – Onanuga denies claim

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Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, has denied the claim that the president plans to move the Federal Capital Territory, FCT to Lagos.

This follows a rumour that surfaced on social media that the president plans to move the FCT to Lagos State after a department under the Ministry of Aviation, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, moved some of its departments to Lagos.

Onanuga said that the rumour started during the 2023 general elections campaign and was trashed.

Onanuga made this statement on his official X (formerly Twitter) handle.

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.”

Onanuga also explained that the movement of some departments of the CBN to Lagos should not trigger another outburst, noting 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.

He stated, “All those pushing this campaign of falsehood know they are playing politics, albeit a dangerous politics to pit 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. 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.”

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