By Jennifer Akamanu
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Wednesday denied claims that she hired a foreign public relations firm for the sum of $2m (N800m).
An online news portal had reported that she paid the firm, Africa Practice, the sum for media consultancy services.
But in a statement issued by the Director of Information in the Finance ministry, Salisu Dambatta, the minister said the sum of N28.97m for three years was approved by the Federal Executive Council in November 2016 to enable the firm work for the Debt Management Office as part of the Eurobond programme.
She said the firm was to work alongside Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Citibank, White & Case LLP and Banwo & Ighodalo.
The statement stated that the contract followed a competitive tender that was advertised in international and local newspapers, including the Federal Tenders Journal.
The minister added that due process was followed in the bidding process, noting that the outcome was publicly announced earlier this year.
The statement read in part, “The key criteria used in the evaluation of the technical bids submitted by the appointed transaction partners, including Africa Practice, were company track record and credentials; evidence of valid licences to operate in the market or jurisdiction in which they are domiciled, global presence, and transaction history with the Federal Government or any of its agencies.
“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 meetings, nor questioned the obvious gains made by Nigeria in the course of the meetings.