By Emmanuel Afonne
The African Public Relations Association (APRA) has frowned at what it called undue interference in the ongoing investigations of the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr Akinwunmi Adesina.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the U.S. is championing investigations against Adesina, following 20-point allegations of “impunity and bad governance” from unnamed employees of the AfDB.
The unnamed staff members claimed that Mr Adesina used the bank’s resources for self-promotion and personal gain, while also paying out huge but undeserved severance packages to staff who resigned mysteriously, and favouring his fellow Nigerians.
President of the association, Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya on behalf of the Executive Council of APRA, made this known in a letter to the chairperson and board of AfDB.
In the letter, Badejo-Okusanya stated that APRA was interested in due process being followed, bearing in mind the key objectives of establishing AfDB.
“Without prejudice to previous ongoing or future investigations at the bank, we insist that they must all follow the extant rules of the bank; APRA will frown at undue influence outside the bank’s established channels.
“As an African institution, albeit with some non-regional stakeholders, AfDB must solve its problems within the context of Africa which is the principal stakeholder.
“APRA as the self appointed reputation drivers for Africa, with a strong pro Africa vision, believes that it is in our collective interest and integrity, that one of the strongest reputation assets of the continent, the AfDB, is not sacrificed on the ‘alter of international politics,” Badejo-Okusanya said in the letter.
APRA noted that for four years running, the AfDB received triple-AAA ratings from four major global agencies, which was incontrovertible proof that the institution was moving the continent forward and fulfilling its mandate.
The letter cited, AfDB’s establishment of regional offices that had brought the bank’s impact closer to Africans; this, it considered a clear positive.
Part of the bank’s achievements also listed by the association, was the up-shoot in its loan income from $563million in 2015 to $803million in 2017.
APRA placed on record that these achievements were under the administration of Adesina, a clear testament to his vision and exemplary leadership.
The letter ended by urging the chairman to take objective decisions with a ‘keen eye on history’, while APRA continued to monitor developments at the bank.
NAN reports that APRA is the umbrella body for the practice of public relations in Africa with a mandate to drive the continent’s positive narrative. (NAN)