President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated the President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, for re-election for another term of five years.
Adesina, confirmed this in a speech he delivered when he received Emeka-Anyaoku Life-Time Achievement Award organised by Hallmarks of Labour Foundation in Lagos on Sunday.
Adesina is the eight President of the Bank. He was elected to the position on May 28, 2015 by the Bank’s Board of Governors at its Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. He took office at the bank’s headquarters in Abidjan on September 1, 2015 and would serve an initial five-year term.
The AfDB boss appreciated President Buhari for the nomination, adding that the country had invested so much in him.
He is the first Nigerian to serve as President of the Bank Group.
“I wish to immensely thank and appreciate President Buhari for nominating me for a second term for re-election as President of the African Development Bank and for being such a wonderful champion and supporter of my re-election,” he said in his remarks.
“The highest honour for me, of which I have such great pride, is that I was born a Nigerian. From the moment that I came out of my mother’s womb, the breath that I took was the air of Nigeria.
Powering my lungs, Nigeria’s air eventually became the driver of all I would do, become and be most proud of in life.
“A number of years ago while working at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, a colleague took a keen interest in me and my career, and kind-heartedly suggested that I take up US citizenship.”
According to the AfDB boss, he is always very conscious of, and sensitive to, the huge responsibility he carries and the need to do all within him at all times, to be the best ambassador of his country.
“Nigeria has invested so much in me. When asked by President Goodluck Jonathan to serve as Minister of Agriculture, it was duty calling me to the land of my birth. I served Nigeria to the very best of my ability. I thank God that Nigeria’s agriculture sector witnessed a much-needed transformation at the time.
“With the strong support of President Jonathan and the then-President elect, President Buhari, we campaigned very hard for the position of the President of the African Development Bank.
“It was a Nigeria effort, as all hands were on deck, including from our former presidents and heads of state, General Abdusalam, General Yakubu Gowon, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Vice President Namadi Sambo, and of course my dear indefatigable sister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who ran a spirited campaign for me.
“By God’s grace, I was elected President of the African Development Bank on May 28, 2015, exactly 24 hours after my term of office as Minister ended. The nation jubilated, as I became the first-ever Nigerian to be elected President of the Bank since its establishment in 1964.
Once again, Nigeria gave me air in my lungs.
“At the African Development Bank we have worked very hard. In my four years as President, we have connected 16 million people to electricity, provided 70 million people with improved agricultural technologies to achieve food security, given 9 million people access to finance from private sector companies, provided 55 million people with access to improved transport, and 31 million people with access to water and sanitation. In all 181 million people have directly benefitted from our investments,” he added.