President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina, meets President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa. The meeting which took place on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, ended with hope and a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
“Nigeria stands solidly behind Akinwumi Adesina in his re-election bid as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). We will work with all leaders, and stakeholders in AfDB, to ensure that he is re-elected. This will be on the strength of his achievements during this first term.” This information was disseminated on the official Twitter handle of the President.
Also, the president pledged that Nigeria would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure Adesina’s re-election. Adesina’s achievement during his first term has earned him the reputation he currently rides on for the second term.
All of these are against the backdrop of the travails of the allegations leveled against him. The 60-year-old president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) is said to have a clean public persona.
Mr. Adesina has denied all the allegations of official misconduct and abuse of office leveled against him. Adesina maintained his innocence.
“I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped-up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honour and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank,” Adesina said recently while responding to the accusations.
The board of governors of the 55-year-old institution met last week. The meeting hovered around bringing in an outside investigator into the allegations concerning the Nigerian’s conduct. This also happened just days after the US rejected an initial inquiry that cleared him of all allegations.
The prospects of an independent probe come only three months before he was expected to be re-elected unopposed at its annual general meeting on August 25-27.
President Buhari’s pledge of Nigeria’s support for Adesina is coming less than a week after former President Obasanjo endorsed Mr. Adesina. The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed also threw her weight behind him.
Adesina was first elected as the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on May 28, 2015. His re-election bid has been widely supported by other African leaders and he has been endorsed as a sole candidate by the African Union. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), whose Authority of Heads of States and Governments gave its nod after its 56th ordinary session in Abuja last December.
Nigeria’s support and pat in the back is indeed a massive weight for the embattled gentleman.
Why is Nigeria’s support important for Akinwumi Adesina?
Among the core 54 African countries and non-regional members of the AfDB, Nigeria is the largest shareholder of AfDB.
AfDB’s 10 biggest shareholders:
- Nigeria: 9.1%
- US: 6.5%
- Egypt: 5.5%
- Japan: 5.4%;
- South Africa: 4.9%
- Algeria: 4.1%
- Germany: 4%
- Canada: 3.8%
- Ivory Coast: 3.7%
- France: 3.6%
The AfDB’s mission is to fight poverty and improve living conditions on the continent. The African institution promotes the investment of public and private capital in projects and programs. They also contribute to the economic and social development of the region.
The AfDB is a financial provider to African governments and private companies investing in the regional member countries (RMC).
The question on everyone’s lips is, if the AfDB president has done remarkably well in his first term, why are there hesitations in electing him a second time? Are there reforms that his leadership has put in place in African countries that the big guys are worried about? We will wait as events unfold.