Akinwumi Adesina’s, Oteh’s new appointments confirm we had a good team, says Jonathan



IN what may be a veiled reaction to the litany of criticisms trailing his economic team as a lacklustre one, former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday declared that two members of his team found competent on appointment to lead two globally-renowned financial institutions is a confirmation that he had a good team.

Jonathan’s assertion is contained in congratulatory letters he addressed to his two former appointees – former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina who is now the President of the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the immediate past Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh who has been appointed the Treasurer and Vice President of the World Bank in Washington D.C, United States (U.S.).

In separate letters of congratulations to both Adesina and Oteh, which Jonathan personally signed, copies of which were seen with some of his other key officials in Abuja yesterday, the former President described both Adesina and Oteh as “high achievers and Nigeria’s worthy ambassadors.”

On Adesina’s choice as AfDB, Jonathan said: “Given your exemplary record of performance while serving as the 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 achievable dream.”

Similarly, the former President in a letter to Oteh praised the former SEC boss profound knowledge of capital markets, describing her as being conversant with the challenges of the economies of emerging markets.

He wrote: “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.”

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