BREAKING: “No going back” – Keyamo speaks on FAAN relocation to Lagos

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has declared that there is no going back on the relocation of the headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from Abuja to Lagos. 

Keyamo stated this while speaking on ChannelsTV on Wednesday evening.

“We are going ahead. The directive has been given,” Keyamo declared.

Politics Nigeria reports that mixed reactions have continued to trail the planned relocation of FAAN headquarters and some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from Abuja to Lagos.

Senator Ali Ndume from Borno South as well as chieftains of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and other northern groups had kicked against the moves by FAAN and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), insinuating that it was an attempt to marginalise the north.

But Keyamo said the movement of the headquarters of the airport authority has become necessary in line with current economic and operational realities.

According to the minister, the relocation of FAAN to Lagos will save the country at least N500 million on flight tickets for officials.

The minister said top FAAN officials and aviation unions approached him that the head office of the authority be moved to Lagos for operational efficiency.

On whether President Bola Tinubu was aware of the decision or not, he said, “I take the decision; it’s a decision under the purview of a minister”.

He said only the headquarters of one of the seven aviation agencies in the country is being moved from Abuja to Lagos.

Keyamo said when his predecessor, Hadi Sirika, moved the headquarters of all aviation agencies from Lagos to Abuja in 2020, no adequate provision was made for the principal officers like the directors and the departments under them.

He clarified that the headquarters is where the decision-makers meet, not where the largest number of workers are and not where the biggest building is.

He said over 100 of the 132 workers at the head office are in Lagos while only the directors are in Abuja — without their support staffers.

Keyamo said the whole issue was compounded with the fact that FAAN is not yet digitalised and so, in one year, they spend half a billion naira on flight ticket between Lagos and Abuja alone.

“You see them flying every day to-and-fro Abuja to get one file signed. They fly everyday back and forth. In one year, they spent close to half a billion naira on flight tickets. N450m on flight tickets alone,” he said.

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