Regardless of the movement restrictions, which was imposed in the country as a result of the dreaded Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Nigeria’s Ministry of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has ordered the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to relocate its corporate headquarters in Lagos to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in line with the Presidential directives issued in 2012. He gave only 45 days for the relocation exercise to be completed.
The order for FAAN to relocate to Abuja is contained in a – three paragraph letter on May 4, 2020 was however signed by the Director of Human Resource Management, Muhammadu Shehu, for the Aviation Minister. The letter is titled, “Relocation of Aviation Agencies Headquarters to Abuja” and addressed to the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu.
The letter reads in part, “I am directed to remind you of a presidential directives issued in 2012 requesting all the agencies under the ministry to relocate their corporate headquarters to the Federal Capital Territory Abuja for efficient and effective coordination and enhanced service delivery between the ministry and its agencies and to note that eight years after, the agencies are yet to comply. Accordingly, considering the current situation and economic impact worldwide, as well as the need to reduce cost of governance and manage scarce resources in a sustainable way, it has become imperative and further to the Honourable Minister’s directives (copy attached) to request that you facilitate and complete the relocation exercise of your corporate headquarters to Abuja within the next forty five days in line with the earlier directives.”
It would be recalled that the policy to relocate all agencies of the federal government was first mooted in 2008, and the federal government then directed agencies under the ministry of aviation to relocate their corporate head offices to Abuja. The directive re-echoed in 2012 but was not implemented by some of the agencies involved. The relocation order had then directed Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to relocate to FCT.