The Nigerian Federal Government has written to the Board of the African Development Bank (AfDB), advising that rules of the bank should not be tampered with in favour of the United States of America, which is campaigning for the probe of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who is currently the bank’s President.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed to the chairman of the Board of Governors of the AfDB on behalf of the federal government, advised the Board to dismiss America on its call for independence investigation of Adesina.
“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.
“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.
“The Nigerian Govemment welcomes the conclusion of the Ethics Committee and the decision of the Chair of the Board of Governors.
“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.”
Zainab Ahmed said that before clearing Adesina of any wrongdoing, the Ethics Committee had conducted and completed its work following the rules, laws, procedures and guidelines as laid down by the Resolution of the Board of Governors.
She said that in carrying out its work, the Ethics Committee 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.
She added that the Committee also called on the whistleblowers to submit any additional evidence, facts and documents to buttress their allegations “but they did not.”
The Nigerian minister said that as a result of the allegations and insistence on an independent investigation, “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.”
She said that Dr. Adesina is the sole candidate for the election, arguing that he had delivered impactful programmes and impressive results at the Bank.
According to Zainab, Adesina’s accomplishments as head of the AfDB 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.”