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AfDB: ECOWAS reaffirms support for Adesina amid Probe

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has reaffirmed its confidence in the leadership of Dr Akinwumi Adesina at the African Development Bank (AfDB).

In a statement on Saturday, ECOWAS chairman and President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou reiterated the collective support of the group for Adesina’s election for a second term as the bank’s president.

The ECOWAS Heads of State and Government noted that the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors rejected all the allegations against the bank’s president and completely cleared him.

The ECOWAS member countries and their people commended the AfDB for its efforts in building the continent’s economy. The body said in the past five years of his first term, Adesina’s achievements have been impressive.

It said: “The ECOWAS note that for some time, whistleblowers have been trying to question the management and morality of the President of the AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina. The allegations made relate to alleged unethical behaviour.

“These allegations, relayed by the international press, create a deleterious climate likely to undermine the credibility of the African financial institution, whose reputation and financial strength are more than established.

“Indeed, the African Development Bank enjoys a recognised credibility, in particular through rating, obtained from most prestigious rating institutions, and has maintained these for several years.

“To further convince you, the bank was awarded a triple A rating for its long-term privileged debt, and a double-A + for his subordinated debt by Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s, Fitch and the Japanese Rating Agency. The outlook for all ratings is stable and reflects the strong support of the bank’s shareholders, good capital adequacy, its privileged creditor status and a balanced financial position.

“Better yet, the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS note that the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors rejected all the allegations against the President and completely cleared him.

“In their capacity, the member states of ECOWAS and their people commend the actions of the African Development Bank for their efforts in economic and social development.

“They note that the bank has launched several major initiatives for the reconstruction of infrastructure in the regions including, ‘Desert to Power Initiative’ to develop 10,000 megawatts of solar energy. This will provide electricity to 250 million people, railways, ports, airports, irrigation canals, and information and communication technologies. The Bank is also working in close collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission on the historic Lagos-Abidjan road, a key project to improve trade in the region.

“ECOWAS notes that following his illustrious predecessors, the eighth elected President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina further strengthened and accelerated the development of the institution.”

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