Lai Mohammed becomes lobbyist for U.S.-based Ballard PR firm used by Atiku, other Nigerian politicians
Ballard Partners, an international lobbyist firm used by Nigerian politicians, has appointed ex-information minister Lai Mohammed as managing partner of its first office in Africa.
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar used the lobbyist organisation in the build-up to the 2019 presidential election, paying $1.1 million per year.
In a statement by the firm on Wednesday, Mr Mohammed will serve as managing partner of its newly opened Abuja office and its satellite office in Lagos.
With its headquarters in Washington, Ballard Partners specialises in all aspects of governmental and public affairs, including legislative and executive agency advocacy.
In the statement, Brian Ballard, the firm’s president and founder, said they were opening their first African office in Nigeria to expand its international footprint to three continents.
Mr Ballard said the firm chose the ex-minister because he “has a long record of public service and is one of the most respected officials in the country.” He also cited Mr Mohammed’s “outstanding reputation and exceptional experience will be invaluable to our firm.”
Mr Ballard recalled that since the advent of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic in 1999, Mr Mohammed played key roles in Nigeria’s polity as the chief of staff of then-Governor Bola Tinubu.
He added that Mohammed was also the national spokesman for the major opposition party for over a decade (2005 to 2015).
“I am very pleased to join Ballard Partners and to open the firm’s first office in Africa,” said Mr Mohammed. “Ballard Partners has an impeccable reputation internationally and is well-known for its success representing African countries and American firms in Africa.”
The former Nigerian minister added that the opportunities in Nigeria for Ballard “are substantial, and I look forward to helping the firm’s clients achieve their objectives.”
Born in Oro, Kwara, Mr Mohammed graduated with second-class upper honours with dual degrees in modern European languages (majoring in French) and law.
He was called to the Nigerian bar in 1986.
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