“United States Pushing Against Adesina Out Of Sheer Spite”: Fresh Perspective On AfDB Saga Emerges

by on May 29, 2020

A 16-fold allegation list by anonymous whistle blowers against President of the African Development Bank(AFDB) has captured and retained the attention of global scene and Nigeria in particular, as many speculate as to why such specific accusations be laid in light of recent happenings.

Anonymous whistleblowers had accused Dr. Akin Adesina of embezzlement, preferential treatment of Nigerians in senior appointments and promoting people accused or found guilty of fraud and corruption.

These allegations, although strongly denied by Adesina, saw the interference of the US Treasury Department, who wrote a letter urging the AfDB to carry out an independent investigation into the alleged ethics breaches by Adesina.

Adesina issued a press statement on Wednesday in which he strongly criticised what he termed “unprecedented attempts” to taint his reputation with accusations which have shaken the institution.

“I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honour and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank,” Adesina said.

“I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the Bank, and rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the Code of Ethics of this extraordinary institution”, he said.

However, an internal inquiry by the Bank’s Ethics Committee soon cleared Adesina of all charges. Not satisfied, the tireless whistle-blowers are demanding an independent inquiry after their complaint did not appear to gain momentum.

Dr. Adesina has been AfDB’s president for Five years in seemingly stable circumstances, until the emergence of these claims.

Speculations as to the real motives behind the whistle-blowers pursuing Adesina relentlessly have reached sky-high, and some have less popular, albeit succinct opinions, like Twitter user simply known as @Adxpilar.

While most who have developed an interest in the scuffle pin the blame on Adesina’s heavy appointment into the AfDB’s workings-— including the hiring of his childhood friend—- Adxpilar is of the opinion that the United States is miffed at Adesina’s clever thwarting of a coal deal.

Adesina had previously made no bones about his administration’s intention to gracefully transition Africa into a green, eco-friendly environment with regards to fuels.

He has, through traceable actions been attempting to steer Africa away from increasingly scarce fossil fuels— majorly coal— to clean, cheap sunlight.

Adxpilar begins his thought provoking analysis by discussing Adesina’s open announcement concerning plans to scrap coal power stations Africa-wide.

He says:
“Akin Adesina’s problem started last September when he publicly announced at the U.N. climate talks in New York that he was working on a plan to scrap coal power stations across the continent.

Here, Adesina is quoted to have said: “Coal is the past, and renewable energy is the future. For us at the African Development Bank, we’re getting out of coal…There’s a reason God gave Africa sunlight.”

Adxpilar continues his analysis pointing out the high possibility of loss and “bad debt” to the United States with the loss of coal projects from a major customer like Africa:

“The AfDB funded coal power projects in the past, including $1.5bn loan to South Africa’s Eskom for its Medupi coal plant and also the Sendou plant in Senegal. Under Adesina with the UN, they’re beginning to fund renewable energy projects. It makes sense to do so.

“What this means is that ongoing coal power project will become “stranded assets”. In fact, the World Bank rebuffed Eskom when it applied for a loan to finish the Medupi power plant and the AfDB ended up taking it up because it’s SA.

Adxpilar reinforced Adesina’s green scheme— and the very real possibility of it messing with world powers’ schemes— reiterating:

“The AfDB wants to double its climate financing and accelerate investments in clean energy and renewable power projects. A lot of money is at stake in terms of financing deals and construction contracts. The kind of deals decided by multinationals and ‘big countries’

“Some Western countries (shareholders of the bank) feels that since they’re making the largest investment in the bank, they should be able to dictate the kind of projects and companies to be engaged by the bank. Which, I think is fair but if you wanna buy me a shoe I should be able to state my choice of size and color. Right?

The Trump USAID is now running the Power Africa 2.0 program, an iteration of the Obama era program that promoted renewable energy. This 2.0 is about pushing “affordable” fossil fuels”, he wrote.

The punchline of his observations reach a peak when he speculates that the United States might be pissed at Adesina for hoodwinking them until the deed was done:

“I think Adesina fooled them into thinking he was in on their “global fossil fuel alliance” and it got too late for them to realize they were being played. That’s how you do when you studied politics under Obasanjo. Now they wanna ambush him at the election”, he(Adxpilar) concluded.

Countering with the more widely accepted stance on the reasons behind the Harrassment of Dr. Adesina, one Twitter user responded:
“The power play by the western investors has more to do with the increasing assertive influence of Afdb across Africa and the successful raising of over $20 billion caught them by surprise.There are also fears by francophone shareholders about the Nigerianisation of the bank”.

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