ADB: Adesina Under Fire As Obasanjo and 13 Other African Leaders Throw Their Wight On Him Stating That His Works Speaks For Him Across The Continent

By Stephen Ubanna

Akinwumi  Adesina, a former minister of Agriculture under former President Goodluck Jonathan, and President of African Development Bank, ADB, who is seeking re-election for another five-year term in office, next August, at the Bank’s Annual General Meeting, AGM,  appears to have played into the hands of perceived enemies  from both within and outside the African Continent  over his running of the Abidjan led  African Multilateral  Financial Institution iN the Last four years.

The perceived enemies  may have known that in the next three months , the Nigerian  born AfDB , President will stand in for another election  as the  sole  candidate  at the Bank’s  AGM, at Abidjan, CotedÍvore. The unidentified whistle-blowers had accused the 60-year old Adesina  of ”awarding  juicy contracts from the Bank  ‘ to acquaintances and appointing relatives to strategic positions’’.

The whistle-blowers and their foreign backers,  may  have come up with the allegations  when information leaked out that Adesina may be returned unopposed as  the  80 shareholders  had agreed to do so at  the next August AGM.   Insider sources told The Value News that the African   shareholders want a continuation in implementing the programme f the Bank   instead of truncating the good works of the multi-lateral bank  under the close  watch of the Nigerian born ADB President which had impacted meaningfully on the continent. Their target, many believe was ostensibly to  get Adesina  removed  at all costs to stop giving Nigerian undue advantage in the affairs of the Bank.

Obasanjo: A Former President Joing 13 Other African Leaders To Support Embattle Adesina, ADB, President

More worrisome was the alleged petition to the Board of Governors of the Bank  by  some concerned  staff  who were said to have  reeled out   some  20  breaches  of the bank’s Code of Conduct , unethical Conduct, pecuniary  gain   and involvement in political activities in African countries. He was said to have also been accused by the aggrieved Staff of being an  impediment  to  the Bank efficiency.

His case may have been worsened   following the accusations of all  Multi-lateral Lenders including the ADB, by   David Malpass , President of the World Bank last February   that the global  Lender’s Banks including the  ADB,    tend to give out loans  quickly  without following due process, and thus  adding to African countries debts problem.

Malpass , the world Bank President had cited the  $3 billion social bond  that was issued last March to the  African countries  in tackling the outbreak of the Wuhan Town  in Hebei Province of the Asian country emerged  coronavirus pandemic. He was said  to have also picked holes  on the bank’s $10 billion  crisis response facility  for Africa which had been launched already.

But in spite of the allegations ostensibly to remove the Nigerian  ADB, President , by those opposed to him, an  internal investigation Committee was said to have been   set up by the Board of governors which cleared  him of any wrong doing of ’favoritisms’ in the running of the bank over the last four years, which thus, qualifies him  to seek re-election for another five-year term.

 Unknown to many,  the  North  American country of the United States, US, which  was  said to be working  with the whistle blowers could  not take it.

Steven Munchin,  the country’s Treasury Secretary  rejection of the report  of the internal investigation  Committee  exonerating  Adesina of all the allegations leveled against him  speaks volume. He may have spoken the mind of President Donald Trump, when  he called  for an  independent  probe of the allegations against  the ADB , President, which is considered weighty in US financial circles.  

‘’We  have   deep reservations  about the integrity  of the  Committee’s process’’, Munchin, had said.  This may have informed why  he had urged Niale  Kaba, Chairwoman of the Bank ‘s Board of governors ‘’to initiate  an in-depth investigation  of the allegations using the services   of outside Independent investigator of high professional standing’’.

Munchi, the US  Treasury Secretary  may  have championed  the involvement of  independent investigators in  the allegations against   Adesina, the embattled ADB , President,  to protect the  country’s 6.5% stake in the Bank.  Note that the  54  African  countries  and 27   in Europe, Asia, North and South America  including the Middle East ,  have shares in the African  multi-lateral Financial Institution.

The Board of governors of the  Bank,  going by  news making  the rounds appear to have  bowed to  the pressure of the  US  Treasury Secretary  as it was said to have agreed to set  up an Independent  probe on Adesina , in order to get to the root of the matter.

Munchin, the US, Treasury Secretary may have had his way because he  has the ears of Kaba, the Bank , Chairwoman, described as a tool in the hands of the US, government, to manipulate the running  of the bank. Despite the gang up to facilitate the removal of the ADB, President, based on the trump  up charges,  he has  refused to came in to the backmail   as he has repeatedly maintained  his innocence , insisting that he has been ‘fair and transparent in the running of the bank operations’.

Given  the direction which the ADB case may be  going, which many fear  will  expose  Africa  to the International  Community for ridiculing, Olusegun Obasanjo and Jonathan, two former Nigerian Presidents  were said to have joined  13 other former African  Leaders, to support Adesina to ensure that he is returned  as the President  of the African Lender Multi-lateral Financial Institution next August at the Bank AGM.

The former African leaders who were not happy at the vilification of  the ADB, President, by those opposed to him had ‘’extolled his works , noting that the bank had never had it so good in the management of its Funds and granting loan facilities to  borrowers.  

Obasanjo and the  other  former  African Leaders who could not hide their feelings   noted that the continent  which is currently  facing tough and difficult times , requires ‘’ all hands to be on deck to tackle the common enemy: COVID 19, instead of dissipating energy on allegations and  probe of Adesina, the ADB, President, which  many consider as  diversionary.

They had cited some of the good works of the  Bank  under Adesina such as the $10 crisis  response facility to support Africa memeber countries shareholders, a $3 billion  Fight COVID 19 Social bond, described as the largest  ever US dollar denominated bond in the world.  The former African Leaders were said to have passed a verdict that ’’it was  powered  by his vision and Leadership. Recall that the World Bank President Malpass had criticised the crisis Response Facility support for African countries and the Social bond.

They had  opined  that the Bank under Adesina  has being  doing a lot   for women, particular, the provision of  a $3 billion  fund  in order to give women easy  access to funds to start  Small and Medium Scales Enterprises, SMEs, with the support  support of the G  7 countries  and Africa.

The African former Leaders noted  that if Adesina had not followed due process in running the bank  as alleged  by the aggrieved patis, the 80 shareholders  from Africa, Europe, Asia, Middle East , North and South America,  could not have approved  a general capital base increase of $115 billion for it, the largest since its establishment in 1964.

Given an insider information, the  former  African Leaders , who knew much about the  workings of the ADB,  over the years believed that Adesina records are unbeatable.  ‘’Across the African continent, the Bank’s  presence  and work have  been highly visible  and impactful’’, they   said.

X-raying Adesina;s track records in the African lender Bank, they noted that in less than five years  the bank’s five point  agenda  has impacted meaningfully   on the  over 333 million people living in the continent   who now have access to  electricity,  food security, access  to Finance ,via,  the private sector , improved transport system and access to good water  supply and sanitation.

Obasanjo, and the other  former African leaders  maintained  that under Adesina as  theADB, President, the Bank has maintained  its stellar  AAA, rating  among  all other global  rmulti-lateral Financial Institutions. This may have informed  why  the  former African  leaders had  called on the warring parties to sheath their guns and allow peace to reign in order to move the continent forward economically in the post COVID era.

  Let us hope that Paul Kagame,  Presidnt of Rwanda and Chairman of African UNION, au, will mobilse  other African Leaders, to use their  majority share holding in the African Lender Bank to stop the rancor  currently tearing the  Bank apart because of thei pecuniary interest.            

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