Former president Goodluck Jonathan has said that the appointment of Dr Akinwumi Adesina as President of African Development Bank (AfDB) and Ms. Arunma Oteh as Treasurer/Vice President of World Bank demonstrates that he had a good economic team.
Adesina was ex-minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, while Oteh was director-general of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Jonathan’s government.
The former president’s position was contained in separate letters of congratulations to both Dr. Adesina and Ms. Oteh which Jonathan signed personally.
He described both as high achievers and Nigeria’s worthy ambassadors. In his letter to Adesina, the former president said, “Given your exemplary record of performance while serving as minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in my cabinet, I have no doubt that you will deploy your energy and the bank’s resources to ensure that Africa experiences a new era of accelerated development.
“You were not only a critical voice in my economic team, you also walked the talk and earned the praise of our countrymen and women, by ensuring that Nigeria’s quest for self-sufficiency in food production became an achievable dream.
“I am particularly pleased with your emergence as the AfDB boss, a development, I believe, which has come as a reward for having served your country meritoriously. It also attests to the fact that my administration had a good team that managed the affairs of the country.”
Also writing to Ms. Oteh, the ex-president said, “I am delighted that you are going to your new job, fresh from the experience of having led the recovery and growth initiatives of the Nigerian Bourse in the wake of the decline, occasioned by recent global economic recession and financial crisis.
“I am particularly pleased that you are being rewarded and elevated on the world stage, after serving your country meritoriously, at a time I was the president. This is a clear testimony to your capacity, high integrity, and tenacity of purpose. It is also a vindication of the decision of my administration to stand by you, believing in your abilities and competence, even when questions were being raised in some quarters over your choice.
“I am convinced that the experience you gathered as director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria (SEC) gave you deep insights on how to tackle the peculiar challenges of a developing nation.
“The World Bank can draw from this to ensure that its future partnerships with emerging economies in Africa and other parts of the world are anchored on policies that will lead to sustained growth and
development, which is a sine qua non for lifting millions of people in the developing world out of mass poverty.”