MINISTER of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, Wednesday explained that she hired British public relations consultancy for only N75million.
“The Public Relations firm, Africa Practice, has been retained by the Federal Government on the approval of the Federal Executive Council to work with the Debt Management Office as part of the Eurobond programme for a three-year period alongside four other firms.”
She said this contradicted claims by some media outlets that the firm was retained for $2 million per month.
Adeosun has been accused of wasting the scarce resources especially in a period of recession when the ministry is championing the cause of efficiency and dense of hiring the PR consultant at $2 million per month.
In a statement issued by Director of Information at the ministry, Salisu Na’Inna Dambatta, “the representative of Africa Practice was in Washington DC in continuation of the Eurobond programme and in support of the country’s outreach with international investors who showed great enthusiasm to do business with Nigeria.
“However, the false story has not dimmed the successful participation of the Nigerian delegation in the World Bank and IMF Spring meetings, nor questioned the obvious gains made by Nigeria in the course of the meetings as widely reported by correspondents of Nigerian media houses that covered the meetings.”
Adeosun had earlier told and online medium that the ministry hired Africa Practice — alongside Banwo and Ighodalo, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank — for international work on Nigeria’s recently tapped Eurobond, which was oversubscribed.
“Africa Practice were engaged for international work on Eurobond for the next three years alongside Citibank, Standard Chartered, and Banwo and Ighodalo,” Adeosun said.
As against the reported N610 million per month, Adeosun said Africa Practice was hired at N25 million per year or N2.083 per month for the next three years.
She said her ministry and the hired partners have succeeded in raising $1.5 billion for the country, with more to come.
Adeosun added that Africa Practice was present at the just concluded World Bank, IMF meetings in Washington DC as part of the assignment of interfacing with international investors.
Speaking with Tribune Online however, an editor with a Lagos based national daily who craved anonymity said “how can Tim of African Practice be advicing on the euro bond programme and at the same time be a media adviser to the minister.
“The whole thing played out in Washington. Tim himself, at some point, when we were pressing to speak with the minister said he doesn’t disseminate he only provides media content.
“He made sure nobody had access to the minister except foreign media and when confronted, he said he was doing his job. This country sef.”
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