My support for Adesina’s AfDB presidency shows I belong to everybody –Buhari

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his support for the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, despite serving as minister in the Goodluck Jonathan administration, further confirmed his remarks at his inauguration on May 29, 2015 that he belongs to everybody and to nobody in particular.

Buhari said this while interacting with the Nigerian community in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, where he is attending the 5th European Union-African Union (EU-AU) Summit.

The President was reacting to Adesina’s gratitude to his administration for supporting him to get the job, leading to his becoming the first Nigerian to head the continental bank since it was set up in 1964.

He said, “The President of the African Development Bank forgot to mention that he was serving in the PDP government as minister, but all the same, I recommended him for the AfDB job.

“I think it emphasised what I said during my swearing-in that I’m for everybody, I’m for nobody. As long as you are a Nigerian, be prepared to benefit from me.”

Adesina, in his remarks, noted that the economy picked up soon after Buhari’s health challenge, adding that “so it seems there is a correlation between the President’s health and the improved economy.“

On security, Adesina said the bank has released $250m for the construction and rehabilitation of the Northeast, destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents.

He also revealed that the AfDB has constructed a big building behind the Yar’Adua centre, as the project started in 2016 and has now been completed.

He said it was the first of such building by AfDB outside its Abidjan headquarters which he wants President Buhari to inaugurate.

Adesina said, “I want to thank you immensely. I want to thank God for your health, because I must say that for all of us, that has been a big concern.

“But seeing you as fit as a fiddle and seeing you back in action, we thank God for that and may God continue to give you great strength.

“Mr. President, as you must have noticed, there is a very strong correlation between your health and the economy and when you came back, the economy picked up after that. So, we wish you great health so that the economy can continue to pick.

“I also want to congratulate you for the economic growth and recovery plan that you have put in place and the incredible plan that you have put in place to bring the economy out of recession and also in terms of the fact that Nigeria has moved up in the World Bank ease of doing business index.

“It is a credit to your leadership, vision and commitment; and we at the African Development Bank commend you, Mr. President, and assure you of our strong support for you and your government, for the efforts to move Nigeria forward.

We are solidly behind you, you can count on that.

“I also thank you for your leadership on the Boko Haram issue, because, to draw investments into Nigeria, you absolutely have to have security. I think that securing our borders is very very important. Thanks to your leadership for that.

“I also thank you for all the efforts you have made in the Lake Chad Basin Area. I was with you in Paris where you led the efforts in reviving the Lake Chad Basin.

“As you know, Mr. President, the Bank is very strongly behind that. We put in $250m to support the northeast of Nigeria’s rebuilding.

“I know you were criticised for soliciting its rebuilding, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. If things get destroyed, they have to be rebuilt and the African Development Bank has contributed $250m towards that.”Punch

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