US Secretary Pompeo, Nigeria’s Onyeama Discuss AfDB crisis

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The United States and the Nigerian government on Tuesday discussed the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the constructive role of multilateral initiatives in accelerating economic recovery and regional security.

Nigeria’s Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who is the President of the bank, had been in the eye of the storm over allegations of impropriety leveled against him by whistle blower.

Despite being given a clean bill of health by the bank’s Ethics’ Committee in its report which was accepted by the Board of Governors, some AfDB non regional stakeholders, notably the United States, rejected the report and called for a fresh probe by an independent body.

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.”

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