The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has given itself a new mandate and it has nothing to do with money matters. It does not even have anything to do with stabilising the foreign exchange regime or strengthening the naira, desirable as that task is.
The new role of Nigeria’s apex bank is to launder Nigeria’s image abroad.
In what is the latest in a trend of frivolous and wasteful spending of tax payers’ money, the apex bank in April engaged the services of APCO Worldwide Inc., a public relations and political consultancy firm based in Washington DC, to help launder the image of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the country in the United States.
In the last three years, the icirnigeria.org has tracked many of such controversial contracts amounting to over $6 million dollars awarded by different agencies of the Nigerian government to foreign firms to launder the country’s image abroad.
From our investigations, such contracts, it appears, are mere conduits for siphoning public funds.
Previous similar questionable contracts tracked by this news website include a $3 million lobbying contract awarded by the National Security Adviser’s office in September 2013 to Patton Boggs, an American law firm that specialises in lobbying and a $1.5 million PR contract awarded by the News Agency of Nigeria to Levick Strategic Communications, a Washington-based PR firm.
There is also a $700,000 PR contract awarded by the Nigerian Embassy in the US to Mercury Public Affairs.