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Ignore Ali Ndume, Decentralize Seaports To South-East, Ex-NOA Director Tells Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has demonstrated his leadership savvy by decentralising the Central Bank of Nigeria from Abuja to Lagos.

A former Director of the National Orientation Agency, Enugu State, Dr Augustine Okolie, stated this in Enugu on Thursday while reacting to Senator Ali Ndume’s warning to Tinubu that such action would have “some political consequences.”

Senator Ndume, representing Borno South in the Senate, had claimed Tinubu’s relocating some units of the CBN as well as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to Lagos was erroneous, alleging that the action is the handiwork of the ‘Lagos cartel.’

He added that, “They are not doing any favour to Mr President because this will have political consequences.”

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But reacting, Okolie said, “I see Mr Tinubu equal to this task. Why are northerners crying? Ndume claims he is neither Hausa nor Fulani, but a northerner. The likes of Ali Ndume make northerners feel they own Nigeria. It’s not wrong to zone agencies to where their revenues and activities are domiciled. In fact, all national assets can’t be located in the nation’s capital.”

Okolie further advised President Tinubu to decentralise various agencies to states or regions where they would function properly to reduce administrative costs.

According to him, “Ndume is just saying what many people are wrongly agitating for. I task Mr President to as well zone the key operating arms of the Niger-Delta Development Commission to the Niger Delta.

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“All national assets shouldn’t be at the headquarters. The movement should be holistic. If 90 percent of headquarters of banks are in Lagos, it is reasonable that we have the CBN based in Lagos. It is also germane for the president to decentralise Lagos seaports to states in the South East that have waterways. This will decongest Lagos, reduce road mishaps and improve the economy.

“It is partly what we advocate in restructuring the country. If every federating unit has the presence of headquarters of federal government agencies determined through comparative advantage, true federalism will be birthed in Nigeria. The likes of Ali Ndume are doing ethnic politics and not good governance. It is also good that Tinubu conducts a national census so that we can know the true population of Nigeria.”

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Okolie commended Tinubu’s boldness, adding that, “What Nigerians want is the increase in the nation’s gross domestic products, and not ethnic politics. We have overgrown religious sentiments of Ndume whose reasoning of the medieval era. That is why he is talking about political consequences. How many votes did Ndume’s Borno State give Tinubu during the election? Ndume is mooting that Lagos doesn’t deserve such favour because Tinubu did not get substantial votes there.”

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