President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina in the Presidential Villa, praising him for his performance and successful re-election.
The President especially commended Dr Adesina for supporting Africa in general and Nigeria in particular, especially in terms of addressing infrastructural deficits.
“There can’t be sustainable development without infrastructure. Our efforts should be seen in the context of lack of resources, but you do your best to support us. I wish you all the best in your final term,” President Buhari said.
It was Adesina’s first visit to the President since he was elected and sworn in for a second term at the helm of Africa’s top bank and the Nigerian leader used the occasion to explain his reason for backing him for the job in the first case.
“I have told so many people why I backed you,” President Buhari said referencing questions about why he picked Adesina who served as Minister of Agriculture under the Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP administration.
“In 2015, in your first term, you were a Minister with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government, and I was of the All Progressives Congress (APC). But you are a good Nigerian. So I recommended you the first time. You proved to be competent, you made us proud, and I recommended you the second time.”
Dr Adesina had overcome stiff opposition last month to win an unprecedented 100% votes from the regionals and non-regionals that make up the Bank and was inaugurated for a second term of five years as AfDB President on September 1.
In the face of the opposition, he received strong support from Nigeria and several other places and people who praised him for performance.
A Proud Citizen
The AfDB President thanked the Nigerian President and people for their support, saying he was proud to be a citizen of the country.
“Home is where dreams are born. Home is where nurturing is provided. It is where support is given for the realization of dreams. I am glad to belong here,” Dr Adesina said.
“When I came in June, you received me, and I shared my successes, and the difficulties facing me. You listened and said you would stand by me. And you did. You not only stood behind me but also beside me. No greater honour for a man than for his Commander-in-Chief to be his Supporter-in-Chief, and his Defender-in-Chief,” he added.
Adesina said Nigeria gave him air, “when I badly needed it in my lungs,” and pledged to always support the country in his private capacity, and as AfDB President.
He then asked for a round of applause for the President, which was truly resounding.