FAAN Relocation: Over 130 Yoruba Groups Caution Arewa Youths on Caustic Remarks

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, ( AYCF) has been asked to desist from making inflamatory statements on policy decisions of the Federal Government.

In a statement on Monday, signed by its General Secretary, Popoola Ajayi, the Alliance of Yoruba Democratic Movements (AYDM) said the relocation of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) should not have generated parochial reactions attributed to the AYCF Chairman, Alhaji Shettima Yerima.

The group said both the relocation of FAAN and some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from Abuja to Lagos State appear to have been driven by honest intention to ensure optimum performance.

Nigeria, according to AYDM, needed to embrace decentralisation of government functions and institutions in order to ensure greater prosperity and functional performance.

“The Stock Exchange in Lagos is the oldest in Nigeria. Stock Exchange is the twin economic front of the Central Bank. The two should actually be located in the economic nerve centre of any country. In the case of Nigeria, the centre is Lagos”, AYDM argued.

The group said it was dangerous for the stability of the country if AYCF sought to dictate what the President and the Vice-President should do, urging the AYCF to recognise that Nigeria belonged to all.

AYDM said the Arewa group should be contented with the explanation contained in the circular to relocate certain government departments as part of on-going efforts by the current administration aimed at optimizing operational efficiency, improving service delivery, and ensuring economic vibrancy across Nigeria.

“Eighty percent of the funds from airport services are from Lagos. 80 percent of local and international airports in Nigeria are through Lagos ports. These are enough reasons to relocate FAAN to Lagos. There was no reason to have moved the FAAN from Lagos in the first place”, it added.

AYDM said it was important to emphasise that such decisions were part of a strategic approach to governance, with the ultimate goal of fostering development.

Ajayi said “it is crucial to note that examples abound globally where key institutions have been strategically located outside the countries’ capitals, leading to positive outcomes. Numerous countries have adopted this approach to distribute economic activities, drive development, and promote balanced growth”.

According to him there were examples globally, saying for instance, German government moved key institutions to Bonn from Berlin and this move not only contributed to Bonn’s growth, but also facilitated economic development in the country.

“In the same vein, Netherlands strategically located its Parliament and government institutions in The Hague, while Amsterdam remains the economic and financial hub. This dual-city model has proven effective in balancing political and economic functions. Just as key financial institutions head quarters are located in New York instead of Washington DC, the USA political capital or between New Delhi, the Indian capital and Bombay the economic head quarter”, the group maintained.

AYDM added that in South Africa, while Pretoria hosts the South African seat of government, key economic institutions remain in Johannesburg

“Relocating certain departments to Lagos is not merely a shift of administrative offices, but a strategic move aimed at even development. Lagos, as Nigeria’s economic hub, already houses various financial and commercial institutions”, AYDM said, adding that the strategic importance of Lagos was the reason why many foreign embassies retained their Lagos offices.

“Leveraging this existing infrastructure can contribute to enhanced synergy, efficiency, and economic growth”, it said.

“The relocation of certain departments appears to be a testament to the government’s commitment to fostering national development and economic growth.

“It aligns with global best practices and exemplifies a forward-looking approach to governance”, AYDM said.

The group advised AYCF to always make a well informed and fact-based statements, rather than spewing reckless and inflammatory statements laden with bigotry.

The AYDM is a coalition of over 100 pan-Yoruba groups, including but not limited to O’odua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC), Agbekoya Solidarity, South-West Professionals, (SOWPROF), Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association, (NATA), ANACOWA which is the SW organisation for all Okada riders, Network for Yoruba Alliance, (NENA), Oodua Students Congress, (OST), The Covenant Group, South-West Women Coalition (SWEC), Vigilanted Regional Groups (VRG), Covenant Group, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC New Era), Yoruba Artisans Congress (YOAC), O’odua Peoples Congress, (Reform) and South-West Hunters Association, (SWEHA) among many others.