At least 1,500 members of staff from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are set to resume work at its Lagos office this Friday, having been redeployed from the headquarters.
The move follows the decision of the new management to relocate select CBN departments to Lagos for reasons including staff safety, increased productivity, and decongestion of the head office.
An official from the apex bank confirmed the plan, telling Punch, “Yes, the plan is still on, and they will resume work by February 2, which is the first week of next month.”
The decision to relocate departments such as Banking Supervision, Other Financial Institutions Supervision, Consumer Protection Department, Payment System Management Department, and Financial Policy Regulations Department to Lagos has faced criticism from various quarters.
The CBN justified the move by citing the need to align the bank’s structure with its functions and objectives, redistribute skills for a more even geographical spread, and comply with building regulations.
A memo issued to staff read, “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. This initiative aims to ensure compliance with building safety standards and enhance the efficient utilization of our office space.”
Despite opposition from Northern Elders Forum and other Northern groups, the CBN Governor, Yemi Cardoso, has continued with the relocation plan, aiming to reduce the HQ occupancy level from 4,233 to 2,733 personnel.
Sources indicate that some affected staffers have already started relocating to Lagos, with over 80% of the Banking Supervision Department and the Payment System Department undergoing redeployment.
Critics argue that the relocation could lead to increased costs, loss of talent, operational disruption, reduced coordination, regional economic disparities, impaired economic development in Northern Nigeria, and decreased investor confidence in the nation’s economy.