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Re: Akinwunmi Adesina – Steadily and Steely Feeding Africa. Readers reactions

The Oasis Reporters

September 26, 2023




Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

By Prof MK Othman

Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina is a man of so many outstanding parts – an academic, banker, investment and development expert, diplomat, visionary leader, technocrat, mentor, team player/builder/leader, boardroom guru, political economist par excellence, agricultural expert, farmers’ minister, an icon of corporate world, a private sector mover, the African development icon, the African development czar, a sage tearing away from the crowd and a potential Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

No single word can project the true personality of Dr. Adesina, and the words to correctly describe him are inexhaustible. The global accolades granted to Adesina attest to his superb performance as a technocrat and ‘African optimist in chief’.

For instance, from 2011 to 2019, world-class universities awarded Adesina ten Honorary Doctorate degrees. Three universities in the USA – Franklin and Marshall College, Michigan State University and Purdue University, USA. Six universities in Nigeria – Adekunle Ajasin University, Obafemi Awolowo University, Federal University of Technology, Akure, National Defense Academy Kaduna, Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti, Bowen University Nigeria. One university in Canada – the University of Alberta.

The degrees covered many multi-disciplinaries and honors – Honorary Doctor of Science, Letters, Management Science, Doctorate of Entrepreneurship, and Doctorate of Agriculture, among others.

In addition, Adesina was recognized with prestigious awards, including the Order of the Griffin, a rare honor given only to 50 persons since 1893, among whom was Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

With these accomplishments and recognitions, even Adesina’s adversaries, if he has any, cannot deny him the superlative laurels exclusively preserved for genius. He is quietly accomplishing the African Green Revolution with his financial, technical support, and backstopping advisory services, advancing the frontiers of Agricultural research, development, and extension. Adesina’s trajectory will soon actualize his lifelong ambition of making Africa food and nutritionally secure in the nick of time.

My 2-piece article attracted reactions from esteemed readers. I selected a few such responses that expressed diverse perspectives. However, the comments are edited for space and clarity. Happy reading.

Dear Prof Othman, your article is superbly written and is an excellent piece on the outstanding African Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.

Initially, the write-up contributed to the citation for the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Dr Akinwumi Adesina in the footsteps of his mentor, Dr. Norman Borlaug, of blessed memory. By God, the award will happen shortly, sooner than later.

By then, Dr Adesina would have scored the last and best goal for the final whistle.

I recall a statement I made at ARMTI when former President Obasanjo gave the ARMTI Annual Lecture at Ilorin. Then, I said, in my view, President Obasanjo’s most outstanding contribution to Nigeria in recent years was Dr. Adesina’s head-hunting, which made him come back home to serve as our country’s Minister of Agriculture.

As the Minister of Agriculture, Adesina’s visible and unprecedented performance earned him a super Minister in the Jonathan cabinet as attested to by the overwhelming support from the President.

Therefore, I stand on that statement I made in Ilorin any day. I salute you, erudite Professor, and more grease to your elbows or ink to your pen, OAE.

Elder Elochi Edache,
Former Permanent Secretary, FMARD

Dear Prof. Othman, It’s nice that Dr. Adesina is scoring a goal in ensuring Africa feeds itself. For those of you in the field of Agriculture, you know his contributions more and are in a better position to hail him.

Most Nigerians may not know or feel his contributions as we don’t see the impact today.

If AfDB is dealing with the Government, I will advise the Bank to change tactics and deal directly with the farmers through the banks. Then I bet you, the foodstuff prices would drop drastically.

Presently, farmers have no access to seeds, fertilizer, or farming tools in Nigeria. So, where are the contributions of AfDB to Agriculture in Nigeria? Conditions to access any loan are stringent and cannot be met by ordinary farmers, and the rich who have access to the loans divert the money for something other than agriculture.

Before you crucify me, please, Prof, know that I am speaking from a layman’s point of view. Nevertheless, I commend Dr. Adesina for being the farmers’ minister.
Usman Mamman Ngulde, Kaduna

Prof MK Othman, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina is one of the rare Nigerians with a vision for Africa. Indeed, we need more patriotic, intelligent, hardworking, and resourceful people like Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina. We are proud to have him serving as the 8th President of the African Development Bank, performing excellently and working to achieve food security, better economic conditions, and sustainable development in Africa.

How about we have more of Adesina working in different spheres of Africa? The continent would have progressed to glory. I hope Dr. Adesina is mentoring young ones to replicate his performances in the future. There is indeed hope for Africa.

Prof. Othman, thank you for constantly educating, motivating, and enlightening us with your excellent and resourceful articles (columns); thank you very much for working round the clock to find relevant solutions to our daily challenges (problems). May Allah guide, bless, and protect you; may He continue to bless and unite Nigeria, amen Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum . I wish you more golden ink to your golden pen of our erudite, hardworking, resourceful, and amiable Professor.
Abdullahi Abubakar

I appreciate his position on Agriculture as a business. It inspired and encouraged me to look inward, improve myself, and paradigm shift how I see agriculture.

Since I was privileged to be among the extension personnel trained on the good agricultural practices and value chain of some commodities, I have made tremendous progress in my farming business and extension services, even after my retirement.
Abubakar Ahmed

My reaction is a good story for future generations, but Dr. Adesina was also not infallible like every mortal. He had every opportunity and was concerned with transforming the Agricultural sector using Mechanization. And it was a golden opportunity, but some people within the Ministry sabotaged it. If Agricultural Mechanization were given top priority, Adesina’s performance as Minister of Agriculture would have tripled. However, since independence, Adesina must be recognized as the performing Minister of Agriculture.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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