he President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has rejected a presidential nomination form to join the 2023 presidential race in Nigeria.
Mr Adesina made his position known in a statement on Tuesday, saying that his current desire is to continue to hold the office of the president of the AfDB, which he won reelection for last year.
A coalition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had reportedly raised N100 million ($170,000) to buy the nomination forms for the incumbent AfDB president.
Mr Adesina, in response, expressed his appreciation to those who found him worthy of leading his country at this critical time it is undergoing different challenges ranging from economy, security and others.
“I have been extremely humbled by several calls from Nigerians at home and abroad that I should consider running for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am very touched by all who have gone to a great extent, with such huge sacrifices, of their own volition, to consider me worthy of being proposed for potential consideration,” he said.
“The coalition groups of youth, women, farmers, physically challenged and well-meaning Nigerians that have done this have expressed their genuine free will, political right, freedom of expression, and association for my consideration, with the interest of Nigeria at heart.
While I am deeply honoured, humbled, and grateful for all the incredible goodwill, kindness, and confidence, my current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept to be considered.
“I remain fully engaged and committed to the mission that Nigeria, Africa, and all the non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have given me for Africa’s development. I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Early this year, Mr Adesina toured the Dangote Refinery in the company of his wife Grace, Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola, and the project pioneer, Aliko Dangote.
During the tour of the Dangote Petrochemical Complex and Fertiliser Complex, which lasted over eight hours, Adesina stopped at the refinery to address the press. He described the plant as a “game-changing initiative” that will spur development and deepen regional integration.
“This is a world-class industrial complex that will make Nigeria and Africa proud. We at the African Development Bank are proud of this project. Every African country needs to have an Aliko Dangote to help the continent industrialise. Dangote’s success demonstrates that governments should prioritise industrialisation. We must continue to support the private sector, considering the value they bring,” he added.
In 2014, AfDB’s board approved a $300 million loan to support the construction and operation of the greenfield crude oil refinery and the greenfield fertiliser manufacturing plant.