The federal government has stepped up diplomatic efforts with the United States aimed at easing the current hard stance of the U.S. government to the Akinwunmi Adesina-led management of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The U.S. has been on the offensive against Adesina who is due for relection in August for a second term of five years. The U.S., acting on a pettion by some staff accusing Adesina of corporate governance infractions, has been leading a block of shareholders to demand independent probe of the accusations after the bank’sethics committee and board of governor cleared him of all charges.
The AfDB Board of governors, in a bid to carry all board members along, consequently authorised an independent review of the Ethics Committee report on Akinwumi, who is due for reelection as sole presidential candidate.
In a telephone conversation between US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and minister of foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama on Tuesday, the two top officials discussed the AfDB and the constructive role of multilateral initiatives in accelerating economic recovery and regional security.
A statement issued by the Office of the US Department of State Spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, said Pompeo and Onyeama agreed that transparency and accountability would drive democratic and inclusive development.
The statement said the US also condoled with Nigeria over the recent Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) attacks in the North-east, the hot-bed of insurgency, which has led to the loss of many lives.
The statement read: “Secretary Pompeo expressed condolences for the loss of life in recent ISIS West Africa attacks in the northeast, and the two discussed Nigeria’s ongoing civilian protection and counter-terrorism efforts.
“Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Onyeama reviewed Nigeria’s progress in fighting COVID-19 and the $30 million in recent U.S. assistance that has helped to strengthen Nigeria’s public health and humanitarian response.
“They also discussed the African Development Bank and the constructive role of multilateral initiatives in accelerating economic recovery and regional security, and they agreed that transparency and accountability will drive democratic and inclusive development.”