Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, has refuted any intentions to relocate the country’s capital from Abuja to Lagos, dismissing such rumors as baseless and attributing them to political opponents. The speculation gained momentum before Tinubu assumed office in May and intensified following the announcement of the relocation of the airports agency and a central bank department to Lagos.
Abuja replaced Lagos as the capital in 1991, chosen for its central location compared to Lagos on the south-west coast. Despite this, Lagos remains Nigeria’s economic hub and largest city, with its colonial history as the former capital. The presidency, in response to the relocation rumors, issued a statement attributing them to “mischief-makers” aiming to sow ethnic mistrust and political discord.
Presidential adviser Bayo Onanuga emphasized that those promoting the relocation narrative were engaging in divisive politics, attempting to create tension between the north and south regions. Nigeria’s diverse population includes various ethnic and religious groups, with historical tensions between the predominantly Muslim north and largely Christian south. Onanuga dispelled concerns that Tinubu, being from the Yoruba community, aimed to favor the south-west, asserting that the administration is committed to fairness and equity for all regions.
The adviser clarified that the relocation of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (Faan) and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s banking supervision department to Lagos was purely administrative and not part of any capital relocation plan.[logo-slider]