Nigeria’s Vice President Kashim Shettima has defended the federal government’s decision to relocate some departments and units of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from Abuja to Lagos, saying it was in the interest of the nation.
Shettima made the remark on Saturday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, where he was the Special Guest of Honour at the 10th Annual Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Lecture and Merit Awards.
The vice president, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the relocation was part of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’, which aims to foster national unity and development.
He said; “Recently, there were those opposing the federal government’s decision over the planned relocation of some departments and units of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from Abuja to Lagos. I want to reassure the people of the North that the move is in the interest of the generality of Nigerians.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ would not make any policy or decision that would be sectional, or at the detriment of some geographical location of the nation; therefore, those opposing the relocation process of some of the departments should desist, or else they are acting as mischief makers.”
Shettima eulogised the late Sir Ahmadu Bello who was the Sardauna of Sokoto and the first Premier of Northern Nigeria for “living a worthy life of emulation.”
He also commended the Foundation for choosing the theme: ‘Creating Pathways for Peace: Tackling Banditry and Insurgency through Good Governance for Sustainable Development in Nigeria’, describing it as apt and timely”.
“The event, in line with President Tinubu’s vision, has brought about many critical stakeholders, including traditional rulers to collectively brainstorm and chart a new way forward in bringing lasting solutions to end insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, poverty, corruption, and all other social vices in the region and the nation in general,” he noted.
Earlier, the Chairman, Board of Trustee of the Foundation, and former governor of Niger State, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, said the gathering was to commemorate the significant milestone and enduring legacy of Sir Ahmadu Bello.
The Guest Speaker, Professor Tijjani Mohammed Banded urged the government to rebuild trust among the citizens to address the security challenges in the region.
“For the North to have sustainable development, all hands must be on deck with those in government to rebuild trust and work for peace-building, provision of quality education, modernisation of agriculture, building infrastructures, rebuilding civil service and building credible media.”