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Leadership prize: Adesina pledges support for Tinubu’s administration

The President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, on Wednesday, joined esteemed past recipients of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership like Nigeria’s Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, and lawyer-educationist, Chief Afe Babalola.


President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has congratulated Adesina, lauding him for his visionary efforts to revolutionise agriculture in Africa and ensure food security, citing his impactful initiatives during his tenure as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.


During his speech, Dr Adesina recalled the visionary leadership and legacies of the late sage, Awolowo which, according to him, spreads across education, healthcare and infrastructure development.


The AfDB President who delivered the prize lecture, said the award has humbled, inspired and motivated, even as he pledged to support initiatives that will transform more lives and livelihoods across Africa.


He noted that the issue of feeding Africa must be achieved because there is no pride in begging for food.


“We must make poverty and hunger history in Africa and Nigeria,” Dr Adesina stated, assuring that the AfDB will support the Tinubu administration in transforming agricultural practice to boost production and improve livelihoods.


He also spoke about the possibilities of a new Nigeria where all the states are viable, and peace, security and prosperity for every citizen is assured.


“In the coming season farming season, across states, the AfDB will mobilize resources to cultivate 300,000 hectares of land for rice production, 300,000 hectares of land for maize production and 150,000 hectares of land for cassava production, among others,” Adesina pledged.


He further stressed the need for urgent interventions by governments at different levels to invest massively in human capital development and initiatives by the bank to support the efforts.


Earlier in her remarks, chairperson of the ocassion and President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan, commended the foresight of the eminent team of the judges for selecting Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for the 2024 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership, noting that they would not chosen a better recipient.


She said Dr Adesina is more than the President of the AfDB, describing him as a true African leader and agent of transformation who has carried his responsibilities with grace, humility and uncommon commitment.


Also present at the event were former Head of State and Presidents of Nigeria, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd); Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Dr Goodluck Jonathan; former Vice President Namadi Sambo; former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Chief Ayo Adebanjo.


Others include Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Uba Sani of Kaduna State, Mohammed Bago of Niger State, Caleb Muftwang of Plateau State, Umar Namadi of Jigawa State, Abba Yusuf of Kano State; Dikko Raddah of Katsina State and Alex Otti of Abia State.

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