How Adesina Emerged First Nigerian AfDB President
NIGERIA’S image blossomed once again at the international scene, as former Agriculture Minister, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, emerged new president of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The feat redeemed the backlash suffered by Nigeria about 10 years ago when her candidate, Dr. Bisi Ogunjobi, then Vice President at the AfDB, lost at home ground in Abuja to Rwanda’s Dr. Donald Kaberuka, who gracefully bowed out last week at the end of his second term in office.
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, meanwhile, has congratulated Adesina on his election, describing it as not only a personal success to Adesina but also to Nigeria as a country.
He said the emergence of Adesina as head of the bank is another of many feats by indigenes of Ogun State.
“The appointment is well deserved, having served meritoriously in his position as Minister of Agriculture. He has made us proud in Ogun State, as we have scored yet another first, being the firstNigerian to be so appointed. I have no doubt in my mind that he would bring his experience to bear in his new assignment,” the governor said.
Adesina’s quest for the AfDB plum job began last year at the bank’s annual general meeting held in Rwanda when Kaberuka announced the completion of his tenure of office. Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala had swung into action to hold consultative discussions with other regional blocks of the bank to secure the position for Adesina.
Since then, negotiations continued to hold across the continent to secure the support of particularly the non-African shareholders, who have enormous influence on who becomes the leader of the bank.
Though Nigeria is one of the highest shareholders of the bank and also floats the Nigerian Development Fund, where it lends funds to other less fortunate African countries, she has not been able, till now, to assume the headship of the institution because of the influence of the non-African shareholders’ bloc, which is so powerful and wealthy.
After six rounds of voting on Thursday that saw seven rivals from across the continent defeated, Adesina secured around 60 per cent of the vote in an election held in Ivory Coast, where the AfDB is based.