The Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN) has advised the federal government respect its own “Buy Nigeria, Save the Naira” campaign.
PRCAN was reacting to comments by Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, that the federal government hired a British public relations firm to manage the recently auctioned Eurobond.
The association implored President Muhammadu Buhari to make Adeosun explain if the process of choosing the firm complied with the provisions of the public procurement act regarding competitive bid from other equally qualified public relations consulting firms.
“It will also be of interest to the Nigerian people to know if the efficiency unit of the federal ministry of finance signed off on the payment of the retainer fee allegedly paid to the PR firm in question,” John Ehiguese, president of the association, said in the statement.
Ehiguese said the minister’s actions confirmed the insatiable appetite of Nigerian political office holders for “foreign is better” items.
He said that this was the first time that it would happen, recalling that the trade and investment minister, Okechuknwu Enelamah, had previously engaged the services of the same firm for an undisclosed amount of money to manage the “Ease of Doing Business” campaign of the federal government without any competitive bid involving Nigerian PR firms.
Ehiguese said Nigerian PR firms had the competence and understanding of Nigerian issues to manage the campaign, adding that Adeosun’s action was a further depletion of Nigeria’s foreign resources at a time when the economy was in the recovery room.
“There are eminently qualified public relations firms in Nigeria who can frame our narratives for the world to read and appreciate”.
Kemi Adeosun had describe the allegations as “false and malicious” saying that the firm was hired at N25 million per year as against the reported N610 million per month.
She said her ministry and the hired partners have succeeded in raising $1.5 billion for the country “with more to come”.