AfDB President Adesina Advocates Aggressive Policies for Nigeria’s Transformation

Taiwo Ajayi
3 Min Read

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has emphasized the importance of pursuing aggressive policies in key areas to drive Nigeria’s socio-economic transformation. Speaking at the presentation of the 2023 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership, Adesina highlighted five critical areas: food security, universal health coverage, housing, education, and true federalism with fiscal accountability.

Adesina, who was honored with the prestigious award, stated that implementing these people-centered policies across Nigeria’s 36 states could significantly improve the country’s prospects and align it with continental progress.

The event, held in Lagos and attended by five African presidents, former heads of state, and other dignitaries, underscored Adesina’s exemplary leadership on the African continent.


Among those present were President Bola Tinubu (represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima), President Samia Hassan of Tanzania, President Azali Assoumani of Comoros, President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia, and Prime Minister Victoire Dogbé representing Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé.

Adesina, in his lecture titled “Making a New Nigeria: Welfarist Policies and People-Centered Development,” expressed his commitment to transforming Nigeria based on the philosophy and virtues of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He emphasized the need for welfarist and people-centric policies, citing examples from Awolowo’s leadership in the Western region of Nigeria.

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He advocated for a shift towards agriculture-led rural economic transformation to ensure food security, emphasizing that agriculture should move from being a way of life to a business.

Adesina highlighted the successes of the agricultural sector during his tenure as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, noting the impressive transformation witnessed in the sector.

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Adesina also emphasized the need for universal basic health coverage and education for all, pointing out Nigeria’s challenges in these areas, particularly regarding out-of-school children and inadequate funding for universities. He called for massive investments in education and healthcare to address these challenges.

Furthermore, Adesina advocated for government accountability and fiscal decentralization for true federalism. He stressed the importance of transparency and accountability in governance, calling for e-governance systems to enhance these aspects.

Moreover, Adesina accepted the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership as a trustee of hope for millions of Nigerians. He urged for a restructuring of Nigeria based on economic and financial viability, emphasizing that this is essential for true progress and development.

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