Adesina’s Glorious Moment In Abidjan | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Adesina’s Glorious Moment In Abidjan

Posted: Jun 1, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Augustine Adah Lagos

He was regarded as one of the few ministers behind the transformation agenda of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s immediate past Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development’s glorious moment came when last Thursday he was elected Chairman, African Development Bank (AfDB) in far away Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.  During his tenure as agriculture minister, he revolutionized the agricultural sector with thoughtful policies. 

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

Indeed as an Agricultural Economist he brought his professional expertise in the development of agriculture in Nigeria. Only in March of this year, he predicted that African future millionaires would be farmers. It was during his term as Agriculture Minister that he demystified fertiliser distribution in the country. Before now, Many farmers could not obtain fertiliser for their crops while those who had the opportunity to get the commodity, got it at the wrong time. Many had to wait for mid-way into the cropping season before they could get the commodity.

One of the legacies of the former minister was the introduction of 10 million cell phones’ lines for farmers in the country. The programme, tagged Growth Enhancement Programme, initially attracted a lot of criticism when it was introduced, but has been able to enhance farmers’ performance. Being convinced of what the programme intend to achieve, Adesina was not distracted by the media criticism that greeted the initial introduction.  “Despite the media war launched by detractors claiming that the Federal Government would spend N60bn on the cell phones, I would not be distracted from the resolve to rebuild the broken walls of Nigeria’s agriculture and unlock wealth and opportunities for our farmers,” he said.

By the end of first year of the programme, about 1.2 million farmers was said to have received fertilizers and seedling through their cell phones.  The programme indeed contributed to the growth of agriculture in the country.

Many analysts before his election as AfDB Chairman had predicted that the Buhari’s administration might consider Adesina for reappointment as minister of agriculture based on his wonderful performance in the ministry since his first appointment in 2011.

The new Chairman, African Development Bank (AfDB) until his appointment as Minister in 2011 was Vice President of Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). On May 28, 2015, he was elected to become the next President of the African Development Bank. He will begin his tenure on September 1; 2015.Adesina becomes the eighth president in the organization’s history, and the first Nigerian to hold the post.  Based on his past performance, the thinking among most Nigerians is that he would certainly do the country proud.