The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to transfer some of its departments from Abuja to Lagos State.
According to an internal memo, the departments affected include Banking Supervision; Other Financial Institutions Supervision; Consumer Protection; Payment System Management, and Financial Policy Regulations.
The move is to decongest the apex bank’s head office.
THISDAY gathered that some staff members of the bank have reportedly resisted the transfer, claiming that it is motivated by sectional bias.
However, an official of the CBN who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the transfer of some departments to Lagos is for the safety of the members of staff and their increased productivity.
“If a company with over 500 members of staff in its head office normally sends about 200 of them to go and work in other states and return to the head office, it will be more economical for the company and safer for the affected members of staff for the company to relocate them fully to go and work in those states. It will also enhance their productivity,” the official explained.
The official added that only a few departments of the apex bank were affected by the transfer. He stated that the move is also aimed at cutting costs and ensuring their safety.
According to the memo, the departments affected by the relocation approved by the CBN Governor, Yemi Cardoso include Banking Supervision; Other Financial Institutions Supervision; Consumer Protection Department; Payment System Management Department and the Financial Policy Regulations Department. Speaking further on the plan, the CBN official noted that most of bank headquarters are in Lagos.
According to him, the CBN usually sends members of staff of the affected departments from Abuja to work in Lagos for a duration of up to one or two months before they return to the head office.
“It is not safe for them to be on the road all the time and it is also not cost-efficient for the bank. Anybody who is asked to leave his or her comfort zone will feel the initial discomfort and complain. So, it is natural that some of the affected workers are complaining,” the official added.
He also noted that the Abuja head office was designed for 3,000 members of staff, adding that the staff strength at the head office has hit 4,000.
“The facility managers have already warned of the implication; the security of staff is also at stake with the increased number because it overwhelms the managers,” the official said.
Part of the internal memo reads: “This is to notify all staff members at the CBN Head Office that we have initiated a decongestion plan designed to optimise the operational environment of the bank.
“This initiative aims to ensure compliance with building safety standards and enhance the efficient utilisation of our office space.
“This action is necessitated by several factors, including the need to align the bank’s structure with its functions and objectives, redistribute skills to ensure a more even geographical spread of talent and comply with building regulations, as indicated by repeated warnings from the Facility Manager, and the findings and recommendations of the Committee on Decongestion of the CBN Head Office.
“The action plan focuses on optimising the utilisation of other bank’s premises. With this plan, 1,533 staff will be moved to other CBN facilities within Abuja, Lagos and understaffed branches.
“Our current occupancy level of 4,233 significantly exceeds the optimal capacity of 2,700 designed for the Head Office building. This overcrowding poses several critical challenges:
“Safety Concerns: The building’s infrastructure was designed for a specific number of occupants. Exceeding this capacity has raised safety concerns, increased health and accident risks – and hinders efficient emergency evacuation.
“Reduced Efficiency: Crowded workspaces are negatively impacting productivity and collaboration. Additionally, overstretched facilities have led to increased maintenance costs.
“Structural Integrity: The building’s integrity can be compromised by exceeding its designed capacity.”
The memo further said the decongestion would also improve the apex bank’s operational and workflow efficiency.
“Strategic alignment: The decision to redistribute departments and staff is rooted in a strategic approach to align the structure of the bank with its functions and objectives. Certain departments may be better suited to operate in proximity to financial institutions’ head offices, which are predominantly located in Lagos. This strategic alignment ensures optimal collaboration and efficiency,” the memo stated.