Buhari Cling On To Adesina To get AfDB Support

By Stephen Ubanna

Former President Goodluck Jonathan minister of Agriculture and  Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina and now President , African Development Bank, AfDB, appears to have become a major pillar of President Muhammdu Buhari, in financing the Administration Programmes. The Value News learnt that in the last two years , AfDB , at the instance of the Adesina, has doled out millions of dollars to the Buhari Administration to support its Agricultural programe.

  Political watchers, believe that the Nigerian born AfDB President may have used his position to support the government because of the role played by the  Katsina born Nigerian President to see to his emergence as the President of the Bank. That much was confirmed  by the AfDB  President when he visited Buhari  at the Presidential   Vila where they held a closed door meeting   on Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

 He noted that without his support he would not have been AfDB President. It is not surprising why he has thrown his weight behind the ruling All Progressive  Congress, APC, government , to achieve its electioneering Campaign promises to the people , particular, Agricultural development. An elated Adesina was happy that his efforts in supporting the government through the Bank has not been a wasted effort.  ”I acknowledge  the progress being made in the Nigerian’s economy while listing the achievements  of the bank  in the country since his presidency”, he  said.

Akinwumi Adesina: AfDB President

Many believe that the bank could achieve that much in the nation’s Agricultural sector in the last four years because of  strict management of the loans from the bank to avoid been looted by political  office holders. The President who could not hide his feelings  about the support of the bank  cited ”its critical gesture  in  2016 during the critical  period of the economic recession  through the issuance of  $600 million budget support facility”.

Given the bank’s contribution  to the growth of the country’s Agriculture  and infrastructural development, Buhari  was said to  have pleaded with  Adesina   the  AfDB, president  not to turn his back on the country . He was said to have used the opportunity  of the visit  to ask for the bank’s ”continued support to the nation’s Agricultural development to be self dependent in food production and other vital areas of the economy.”We still have  significant work  ahead  in the provision of electricity supply,  small scale Cottage Industries and promotion of agro- industrial  zones coming up in the country,”  he revealed.

According to him, the focus of his Administration  would continue to be on ” diversfying  of the economy  and making  it  more inclusive , as well as creating jobs in critical sectors like Information  Communication, ICT, and manufacturing”.

Note that Buhari , had used the services of the AfDC boss to reach out to Antonio  Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, UN, to co-chair , a special session  to raise  a $50 billion fund to finance  inter-basin  water trasfer  scheme  to revive the LakeChad Basin.  Adesina, who did not hesitate  in carrying out the assignment was said to have contacted  the UN Secretary General  who gave his words to participated in the fund raising programme . Presidency sources  disclosed that the former Nigerian Agricultural minister  had already  conveyed  the response  of the Guterres, the UN , Secretary General to the President.

According to him, the President  has  charged the  Bank  to lead a team to source for the  $50 billion  for the  inter -basin water transfer project .  The Nigerian born AfDB  helmsman disclosed that the bank has jumped into the offer   because of  the size of the capital required  in the project  which was ”unavailable  to the Lake Chad member countries  which include Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

At  present the four lake Chad Basin  Countries are involved in fighting the Islamic Fundamentalists , Boko Haran in the north  east . The Countries had contributed soldiers  to the Multi-National  Joint Task Force, MNJTF, which are prosecuting the war, which had been  restricted to Borno state , and occasional attacks in Yobe state.

Note that thousands of people from the four countries   who had depended on the Lake Chad Basin  for their daily livelihood  , appears to have become jobless , over the last nine years , due to the shrinking of the lake  facility,  a situation that may have aggravated the crisis in the region.

The AfDB  boss gave kudos to the President for coming up with the fund raising idea to revive the Lake Chad Basin which would restore back the lost glory of the of the Lake. ”It used to be a 25,000 Kilometres  lake but had shrieked to less than one tenth  of  its size because of the Boko Haram Insurgency”, he said.

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