The Federal Government has strongly supported President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who has been under attack from the United States of America.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has written to the chairman of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) urging the Board to dismiss the call for independence investigation of Adesina.
According to Zaina Ahmed: “The call for an ‘independent investigation’ of the President is outside of the laid down rules, procedures and governing system of the Bank and its Articles as it relates to the Code of Conduct on Ethics for the President.”
The Minister noted: “As Board of Governors (made up of the finance ministers of member countries) we must uphold the rule of law and respect the govemance systems of the Bank. If there’s any goverance issues that needs improvement, these can be considered and amendments proposed for adoption in line with laid down procedures.”
She also added: “The Nigerian Govemment welcomes the conclusion of the Ethics Committee and the decision of the Chair of the Board of Governors.”
Ahmed noted: “The Ethics Committee, following three months of work to examine the whistleblowers’ allegations made against the President, dismissed each and every one of the allegations of the whistleblowers against the President as unsubstantiated and baseless.”
Before clearing Adesina of any wrongdoing, the Ethics Committee Ahmed said “has conducted and completed its work following the rules, laws, procedures and guidelines as laid down by the Resolution of the Board of Governors.”
The Ethics Committee in carrying out its work, had called on oversight organs of the Bank (Anti-Corruption, Auditor General, Human Resources) to answer questions and provide any relevant information related to the allegations, which they did.
The Committee also called on the whistleblowers to submit any additional evidence, facts and documents to buttress their allegations “but they did not.”
As a result of the allegations and insistence on an independent investigation, Zainab Ahmed wrote that “the re-election of Dr. Adesina as President of the African Development Bank originally planned to be held on May 28, 2020 has now been postponed to 25-27 August 2020.”
Dr. Adesina, she reminded the Board, “is the sole candidate for the election. He has delivered impactful programmes and impressive results at the Bank.”
Adesina’s accomplishments as head of the AfDB, Ahmed pointed out, include: securing a General Capital Increase of $115 Billion, the largest ever in the history of the Bank; he led the Bank to develop a $10 Billion Crisis Response Facility for Africa to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.
His other achievements are leading the Bank to launch a $3 Billion “Fight COVID19” social bond, the largest US dollar denominated social bond ever in world history.
These legacies have endeared Adesina to the African Union which endorsed his candidacy for re-election, following his endorsement by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Govermments.
The Nigerian Government commended the Chair of the Board of Governors, Honorable Minister Kaba NIALE of Côte d’Ivoire for the action taken and “urge that the bank’s laid down process be followed to protect and preserve our bank.”