Northern senators have opposed the proposed relocation of certain federal agencies from Abuja to Lagos, citing not only logistical challenges but also raising eyebrows over perceived disparities in resource allocation within the 2024 budget.
The recent internal memo from the Central Bank of Nigeria, announcing plans to shift some departments to Lagos due to congestion in the Abuja headquarters, stirred the initial ripple effect.
Following suit, Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, issued a directive for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) headquarters to move from Abuja to Lagos.
This cascade of decisions has sparked a robust response from the lawmakers, collectively known as the Northern Senators Forum.
Suleiman Kawu Sumaila, spokesperson for the senators, pledged unwavering commitment to addressing the concerns and sentiments of their constituents.
He said, “As representatives of the people at the national level, we are committed to addressing the concerns and feelings of our constituents regarding certain decisions and policies put forth by the federal government – lopsidedness in the distribution and allocation of resources in the 2024 budget, relocation of some federal agencies from Abuja to Lagos.
“We understand the importance of fostering a harmonious relationship between the government and its citizens, and it is in this spirit that we are announcing our collective efforts to seek an amicable resolution to these pressing issues, within the confines of our constitution and existing laws.
“Let us assure our constituents that we have taken their concerns seriously and are actively engaging with our colleagues in order to address these matters effectively. We firmly believe in the power of open dialogue and collaboration to bring about positive change for our nation.
“Throughout our term in office, our primary objective has been to advocate for the well-being and best interests of those we represent. We recognize the significance of our role as a bridge between the people and their government, and it is with great responsibility and dedication that we undertake this task.
“We acknowledge that our constituents have shown great patience and trust in our abilities thus far. It is now our turn to ask for their continued support and understanding during this critical juncture. Together, we can work towards resolving the issues at hand and restoring faith in our democratic processes.
“We urge our constituents to remain patient as we diligently explore avenues for dialogues, engage in peaceful negotiations, and deploy legal measures where necessary. Rest assured, our actions align with the constitutional framework and the laws of the land, as we endeavor to uphold justice and fairness.
“It is our belief that through effective communication, mutual respect, and a shared vision, we can forge a path that leads to positive change. We will engage the executive branch of the government and the leadership of the Senate and the relevant stakeholders to actively listen to the concerns of Nigerians and provide updates on our progress. We encourage everyone to participate in these channels of communication, ensuring that their voices are heard and their perspectives valued.
“In conclusion, we, as representatives of the people, are fully committed to resolving the pressing issues at hand. We ask for your support, trust, and patience as we continued to work towards delivering positive outcomes for our constituents and upholding the values enshrined in our Constitution.”