CBN plans relocation of key departments from Abuja to Lagos

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is reportedly planning the relocation of its key departments to Lagos state from Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Olayemi Cardoso, the apex bank governor is said to have approved the relocation of: Banking Supervision, DBS; Other Financial Institutions Supervision, OFISD; Consumer Protection Department, CPD; Payment System Management Department, PSMD and; Financial Policy Regulations Department, FPRD.

Although an internal memo released on Friday said the move is to decongest the headquarters and increase the productivity of the affected staff while also cutting costs and ensuring their safety but some staff are grumbling over the decision which they say will render the Abuja office useless.

The protesting staff who are reportedly warming up to resign in droves said the relocation is motivated by tribal sentiments, citing a similar occurrence in the NNPCL Retail.

It was learnt that over 1,500 staff will be affected by the redeployment with some of them already resigning as Mr Cardoso faces accusations of hostility towards staff since assumption of office.

Although the acting director of Corporate Communications of the CBN, Hakama Sidi-Ali, could not be reached for comment at the time of filing this report, it was learnt that Godwin Emefiele, ousted governor of the bank, approved the construction of an annex office and multi-level car park opposite the head office building (behind Sahad Stores) in order to decongest the head office building.

“This is to notify all staff members at the CBN Head Office that we have initiated a decongestion action plan designed to optimize the operational environment of the Bank,” the memo reads.

“This initiative aims to ensure compliance with building safety standards and enhance the efficient utilization of our office space.

“This action is necessitated by several factors, including the need to align the Bank’s structure with its functions and objectives, redistribute skills to ensure a more even geographical spread of talent and comply with building regulations, as indicated by repeated warnings from the Facility Manager, and the findings and recommendations of the Committee on Decongestion of the CBN Head Office.

“The action plan focuses on optimizing the utilization of other Bank’s premises. With this plan, 1,533 staff will be moved to other CBN facilities within Abuja, Lagos and understaffed branches.

“Our current occupancy level of 4,233 significantly exceeds the optimal capacity of 2,700 designed for the Head Office building. This overcrowding poses several critical challenges:

“1. Safety Concerns: The building’s infrastructure was designed for a specific number of occupants. Exceeding this capacity has raised safety concerns, increased health and accident risks – and hinders efficient emergency evacuation.

“2. Reduced Efficiency: Crowded workspaces are negatively impacting productivity and collaboration. Additionally, overstretched facilities have led to increased maintenance costs.

“3. Structural Integrity: The building’s integrity can be compromised by exceeding its designed capacity.

“Strategic alignment: The decision to redistribute departments and staff is rooted in a strategic approach to align the structure of the Bank with its functions and objectives. Certain departments may be better suited to operate in proximity to Financial Institutions’ head offices, which are predominantly located in Lagos. This strategic alignment ensures optimal collaboration and efficiency,” it added.