President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has lamented the dwindling economic fortunes of the African continent which he said had a decline in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), by $165billion in 2020.
He noted with dismay that over 30million jobs were lost, while 26million persons fell into extreme poverty within the period.
Akinwunmi, who disclosed this in a speech, titled “Mobilizing Financing for Africa’s Accelerated Economic Recovery, Development and Integration,” which he delivered at the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, however, lauded the efforts of African leaders in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic which affected many economies of the world.
He warned against outsourcing Africa’s security to foreigners as he stressed the need for Africa to protect African lives by building healthcare infrastructure and vaccine manufacturing.
The AfDB boss said: “It has been a global economic cyclone. Africa witnessed a decline in GDP growth of 2.1% in 2020, its lowest in 20 years. Africa’s GDP fell by $165billion. Over 30million jobs were lost and over 26million people fell into extreme poverty.
“I wish to commend the leadership efforts of the African Union, and our Heads of State and Government, for the critical roles you have played in dealing with the pandemic and the socio-economic challenges in its wake. Today, thanks to these efforts 11% of the population has been fully vaccinated, and another 16% has been partially vaccinated.
“However, while developed countries have moved to booster shots, Africa is still struggling with basic shots.
“We must learn from this experience. Africa can no longer outsource the security of the lives of its 1.4billion people to the benevolence of others. We must secure African lives!
“It is time to build Africa’s healthcare defense system. This must be based on three strategic priorities. First, building Africa’s quality healthcare infrastructure. Second, building Africa’s pharmaceutical industry and third, building Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capacity.
“Africa needs $600million to $1.3billion to meet its goal of attaining 60% vaccine production by 2040. Investing in health is investing in national security. The African Development Bank plans to invest $3billion to support pharmaceutical and vaccines manufacturing capacity for Africa.
“To address the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and support economic recovery, Africa will need some $484billion over the next 3 years. To eliminate extreme poverty by 2030, the continent will need $414 – $784billion per year. Africa will need $7-$15billion a year to deal with climate change. The continent will also need between $68 – $108billion per year to fix the infrastructure financing gap.”
Akinwunmi noted that Africa must drastically mobilize a lot more resources, saying that with the help of the leaders, the AfDB’s general capital of the bank was increased in 2019 by 125%, rising from $93billion to $208billion, the highest since its establishment in 1964.
According to him, these resources have allowed the bank to scale up support to African economies to tackle the pandemic.
He added: “The Board of Directors of the Bank approved a Crisis Response Facility of up to $10billion. The Bank also launched a $3billion Fight COVID-19 Social Bond on the international capital markets, which was the largest ever US-dollar denominated social bond in world history. The Bank provided $ 27million as grants to the African Centres for Disease Control.
“Over the past six years, the African Development Bank has provided about $39billion in financing to the continent in support of its High5 priorities to: light up and power Africa; feed Africa; integrate Africa; industrialize Africa; and improve the quality of life of the people of Africa. These High5s are the accelerators for achieving Agenda 2063.”
Akinwunmi, assured that with its $25billion in equity, the African Development Fund can leverage up to $33billion of additional financing for low-income countries.
He noted to achieve this; the bank requires the support of the leaders to change the article in the charter of the African Development Fund that does not allow it to go to market to leverage resources. This is top priority.
The AfDB chief said the bank is also leveraging private investments into Africa, in innovative ways, saying: “the Africa Investment Forum, established by the African Development Bank and its partners, has helped to secure investment interests worth more than $78billion.
“This spectacular level of interest includes a $24billion transaction for the liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique. We are proud that that this project will make Mozambique the third-largest producer of liquefied natural gas in the world.
Akinwunmi urged the Heads of State to link security, investment, growth, and development closely together, adding: “To enhance the security of Africa, the African Development Bank is currently developing Security Indexed Investment Bonds. Proceeds from these bonds, when developed, will support countries and regional economic communities to do four things.
“First, to upgrade security architecture. Second, to repair damaged infrastructure in conflict-affected zones. Third, to rebuild social infrastructure. And fourth, to protect zones with strategic investments.
“We must build a better future for our youth. It is time to create youth-based wealth all across Africa. To boost financial support for the businesses of our youth, the African Development Bank Group is exploring with countries the establishment of Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks. They will be first rate financial institutions run by the youth for the youth.”
Fubara Summons Support To Sustain Wike’s Legacy
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) guber candidate, Hon Siminialayi Fubara, has sued for support towards sustaining Governor Nyesom Wike’s legacy in Rivers State.
Fubara made the assertion during his acceptance speech after the party’s primaries in which he emerged landslide winner at Obi Wali Conference Centre in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
The PDP guber flagbearer said his emergence was divine, hence the need for the party to give total support for victory in next year’s elections.
“We will work together to sustain the good things Governor Nyesom Wike has done”, Fubara declared.
Commending the sportsmanship displayed by his fellow aspirants, Fubara praised their zeal but reminded them that, “this is not victory for Fubara; but victory for the party and moving the state forward.”
The PDP flagbearer urged the aspirants to work with him to ensure the party’s victory next year.
On his part, the Governor Nyesom Wike said the victory of Fubara was the decision of the party members who voted, “this is how Almighty God has willed it.”
In his speech, the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike thanked the aspirants in the primaries for abiding by the peoples’ decision, reminding them that, “loyalty is not easy but with what we have achieved, it’s difficult for the PDP to lose election in this state.”
The governor pleaded with all members to join forces to win the elections now that a candidate has emerged.
In the coming weeks, the governor hinted that a committee would be constituted towards uniting and mobilising for victory in the 2023 elections.
By: Kevin Nengia
NYCN Hails Fubara’s Choice As Rivers PDP Guber Candidate
The leadership of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has hailed the emergence of Hon Siminialaye Joseph Fubara as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship election in Rivers State.
In a statement in Port Harcourt, Chairman, NYCN, Chijioke Ihunwo congratulated Sim Fubara on his emergence as the candidate of PDP in Rivers State.
The statement read, “His Youthfulness, AmbIhunwo Chijioke, the chairman of National Youth Council of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter and South-South zone, has congratulated, Mr. Sim Fubara, on his victory as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship candidate in Rivers State, for the forthcoming Governorship election.
“The youth leader of Rivers State stated that the victory of Mr. Sim Fubara is a significant indication that the delegates of People’s Democratic Party appreciate his efforts in the party and trust that he has the capacity to unite and continue in the awesome works of the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike.”
According to the youth chairman, “Mr. Sim Fubara’s victory is a resounding vote of confidence in his ability and leadership skills, which he has demonstrated while serving as the Accountant General of Rivers State, and also signifies that the People’s Democratic Party are committed to a democratic process.”
The number one youth leader, however, noted that “other aspirants and leaders of the party should unite and rally round Mr. Sim Fubara in the task of winning the Governorship election come 2023.
“Additionally, the chairman commended the leader of the party, the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, for giving all aspirants a level playing ground and other leaders of the party for their efforts in making the primary election a peaceful one.
“The apex youth leader assured Mr. Sim Fubara that Rivers State youths, under his leadership will give him the needed support for him to emerge as the Executive Governor of the state”, the statement signed on his behalf by his Senior Special Assistant to the Chairman on (Media & Publicity), Amadi Eze, last Wednesday, indicated.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
2023: Obuah Assures Fubara, PDP Of Total Support
The former Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Bro Felix Obuah, has congratulated the winner of the party’s governorship primary in the state, Hon Siminialaye Joseph Fubara for his emergence, describing his victory as the only clear choice of PDP in the state.
Obuah, who gave the assurance in a statement he personally signed, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, also expressed his readiness to do all within his powers to ensure the emergence of Governor NyesomWike as the PDP Presidential flagbearer for the 2023 elections.
He said, “May I also use this singular opportunity to congratulate our party governorship flagbearer, my brother and friend, Hon. Siminialaye Fubara on your historic election. I wish you all the best and pledge my full support to ensure that our party again makes history by winning the governorship election in the state for three consecutive terms.
“As we celebrate the peaceful and successful governorship primary in Rivers State, we pray the good Lord also grant our mentor, leader, courageous and pragmatic Governor, Chief NyesomWike victory at the presidential primary.
“Once again, I pray that the good Lord will grant us the grace to forge on together as one united indivisible team and help us actualise our individual and collective aspirations under the leadership of our great party, PDP, irrespective of who occupies the driver’s seat”.
The statement read in full, “For some months now, we have witnessed a tense political atmosphere as our country, Nigeria plans to go through another transition in our democratic experiment which is hoped to come to a head with the 2023 general election.
“Consequently, there have been clamours among individuals and groups for certain persons including my humble self to come out as a prospective governorship aspirant in the state under the canopy of our great Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); somebody who has the capacity to sustain the great works and quality leadership of our brave and visionary Governor, Chief NyesomWike.
“The newspapers, the electronic and social media were all awash with such calls from all the nooks and crannies of the state, beckoning on me to just declare my interest.
“After some deep thought and wide consultations, I wholeheartedly accepted to run for the office of governor of Rivers State on the platform of PDP and also went ahead to obtain the nomination and interest forms in line with our party’s guidelines.
“This singular expression of interest gladdened the hearts of many of you, my ardent supporters within and outside the state.
“Even without my consent, many of you went on to campaign for me through the various sections of the mass media and other fora just for my sake.
“Sadly, that hope, that faith and joy may appear to have been dashed. This is the reason for this special message of hope and appreciation to all of you, my dearest friends, my supporters and my people.
“Let me first assure you that no hope is lost. The choice of who succeeds our dear governor is an exclusive party affair. This is what party loyalty is all about. It is not a personal affair.
“On Wednesday, May 25, 2022, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State Chapter has spoken and a governorship candidate has emerged.
“As a faithful, loyal and committed party man, and the immediate state chairman of the party under whose watch by the grace of God, the party won the governorship election in the state back to back in 2015 and 2019, respectively, I must abide by the decisions of the party at all times even when the decisions are at variance with my personal convictions.
“Accordingly, I decided to withdraw and not contest the governorship primary election in the interest of the party.
“I hereby submit and surrender to the decision of the party. Election is not, and should not be a do-or-die-affair. Moreso, power comes from God. I cannot be a party to anything that may obstruct the course of victory for our party both at the state and national levels, or cause disaffection among our party leadership and members.
“I, therefore, enjoin my faithful supporters across the state not to be dismayed or lose hope for where there is a will, there must be a way.
“I sincerely appeal to you to take every development about the governorship primary in the state in good faith. A renowned writer once said, ‘When hope is lost, when faith dies, the man is dead’.
“As long as we remain alive and trust in God, surely, there are better days ahead.
“I am a peacemaker and according to Matthew 5:9, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God’.
“I, once again, call for peace in the PDP and amongst my teeming supporters. United we stand, divided we fall. I thank you all for all your support my social media friends, journalists, Northern groups, Indigenes without Borders, youth groups, churches, Christian organizations, my own people of Omoku, Orashi region, all members of the PDP family across the state, my supporters outside the state, Team Felix Obuah in the 23 LGAs, Go-Round TV, Bro Felix Obuah (BFO) groups, Goround 23, Youth Earnestly Ask For Obuah, ONELGA Political Forum, OtuOzimini Age Grade of Ogba Kingdom, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Rivers State, and many others.
“I am extremely grateful to the Oba of Ogbaland and Council of Chiefs, my stewards/cooks, drivers, my lovely wife and children for their understanding.
“I am also extending my appreciation to all those who signed my nomination form, management and staff of National Network newspaper, Goround Revolution Group, Rivers Women, Rivers Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), women and youths, my personal aides, my Special Adviser on Media and Publicity and others too numerous to mention.
“I also thank you for complying with my appeal to all my supporters via a press statement on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 ahead of the Governorship primary scheduled for Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
“Following an insight, I was compelled to sue for calm amongst my numerous supporters across the state.
“That press statement, which was widely circulated, published on the electronic and print media as well as the social media was timely as it doused tension and pacified those who were already agitated.
“I also did mention in the statement that the party is supreme in all matters and I would stand by the decision of the party”, Obuah said.
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