The Rivers State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has faulted the recent comment credited to Mr. Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), declaring Lagos and Rivers states as centres of money laundering in the country.
At its General meeting in Port Harcourt, members of the Chapter decried such a weighty charge without any factual evidence to back up it up.
The chapter believes that such a statement about Lagos and Rivers states, two of Nigeria's maritime, oil, gas and financial economic hub is capable of hurting the reputation of both states and Nigeria as a country and thus limit its ability to vie for scarce foreign investment capital.
The State chapter of NIPR in a statement signed by its PRO, Chinedum Emeana noted that reputation was a key determining factor for serious investors and lenders.
Anything that negatively impacts reputation of a government is a direct threat on the ability of such a government to create jobs, provide infrastructure and generally achieve socio-economic objectives, the professional image makers reasoned.
The Rivers State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), while it supports efforts to tackle and eradicate economic and financial crimes in the country, therefore urged the EFCC to be circumspect in its action and statements in fulfilling its constitutional role so as not to inadvertently heap collateral-damage on the polity.