The Prudent Youth Association of Nigeria has urged African Development Bank Group (AfDB) President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina to run for the position of President of Nigeria in 2023.
The group, a civil society organization, made the appeal in a statement from the Relations Officer, Mr. Haruna Awode, on Sunday in Abuja.
The group described Adesina as a Nigerian with outstanding qualities needed at a critical time to address the myriad of issues facing Nigeria as a nation.
The group said that as a former agriculture minister and two-term incumbent AfDB president, given his track record, Adesina could be relied on to successfully handle Nigerian affairs.
“At the moment, Nigeria doesn’t just need people with political exposure to lead as president; the exalted office must be busy, vibrant, intellectual with experience and focused mind.
“Academically, Adesina has a record of brilliance. He was the first to graduate with first-class honours, a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics, from Obafemi Awolowo University), Nigeria, in 1981.
“He has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics (1988) from Purdue University, USA, where he won the award for Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis that year.
“He has shown that his outstanding academic performance was no accident, since he has applied it to meet the social and economic needs of humanity both nationally and internationally.
The group said that as a former agriculture minister and incumbent chair of the AfDB, Adesina had not let down or failed the nation, especially the youth.
“The world-renowned development economist, academic and agricultural development expert, with more than 30 years of international experience, has proven himself at every opportunity.
“It is on record that as Nigeria’s minister of agriculture from 2011 to 2015, Adesina reformed the sector.
“Within his four years as minister, Adesina changed farming in Nigeria from subsistence to a viable business through private sector-led investments, while also expanding the country’s food production.
“Under his watch, Nigeria ended 40 years of corruption in the fertilizer sector by implementing an innovative e-wallet system, which directly provides farmers with large-scale subsidized agricultural inputs using their mobile phones.
“Within the first four years of its launch, this electronic wallet system reached 15 million farmers, drastically transforming their lives.
“The electronic wallet system has now gone global and is currently being implemented in several African countries.”
The group said that on the global stage, Adesina has also shown his ability, especially in the AfDB, where he is currently serving his second term as president.
He noted that Adesina, upon taking office at the AfDB, outlined five development priorities for the institution, which he called High-5.
“The High 5 are to: Enlighten and empower Africa; feed Africa; industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and improve the quality of life of the people of Africa.
“These focused areas that are essential to transforming the lives of Africans and therefore consistent with the United Nations Agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in five years have touched 335 million!”
The group said that apart from Adesina’s performance at the helm of the bank, coming out clean when his integrity was tested served as proof of what he would bring to running the country’s affairs.
“The fact that on August 27 he was re-elected as chairman of the AfDB Group with 100% of the votes of regional and non-regional shareholders, the first of its kind in the bank’s history since 1964, speaks volumes about his personality.
“Looking at his profile and records of achievements, we believe that God has placed great potential in this world-renowned scholar and economist to further contribute to the development of Nigeria in 2023.
“This is why we ask you to consider this gesture from the youth of Nigeria, urging you to run for the office of president in 2023.
“For our part, we will engage with all stakeholders, including youth and women’s organizations, CSOs and grassroots people, to mobilize support for Adesina to come and reform Nigeria for the benefit of our nation and future generation.
“We hope that he will consider this as a call for him, not only to serve Nigeria more, but humanity in general, because if Nigeria is reformed, the effect on other countries in the world will be unimaginable.”
The group said having served on different international platforms with distinguished performance, Adesina has what it takes to reform, reunite and rebuild Nigeria.
Adesina has served as Vice President (Policy and Partnerships, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists;
He has also worked with African heads of state and finance ministers, commercial banking industry leaders, and central bank governors in several African countries, as well as senior economist and social science coordinator at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.
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