Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has congratulated his former Minister of Agriculture and President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, on his emergence as the 2017 World Food Prize laureate.
The former president described Adesina as the man who transformed agriculture in Nigeria by introducing several innovations that changed the face of farming, boosted the capacity of farmers and expanded the nation’s ability to feed herself.
Jonathan stated this in a letter of goodwill he personally signed on Wednesday.
Akinwumi Adesina is the current president of the African Development Bank.
Jonathan recalled that during Adesina’s years as agriculture minister, staple food prices remained stable, even in the face of serious challenges like the devastating floods of 2012 and the “difficulties occasioned then by global economic recession.”
The letter read: “I wish to most sincerely congratulate you for your emergence as the World Food Prize Laureate for the year 2017.
“I am not surprised that such a highly prized honour has being conferred on you, given your outstanding and exemplary performance as my former Minister of Agriculture.
“I must state that I have met many men in my years on earth, but few have the intellect and the exceptional work ethic you possess.
“During your years as Nigeria’s agriculture minister and driver of my administration’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), you introduced several innovations like the e-wallet fertilizer and seed distribution system which cut out the middle man, eliminated corruption and expanded Nigeria’s ability to feed herself.
“You oversaw a programme that reduced our food import bill by almost 50 per cent, and working with others in my administration, you helped Nigeria become one of only a handful of nations in the world to reasonably reduce hunger levels between 2011and 2015, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute.”
In his reaction, Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, described Adesina as “a proud export from Nigeria and a good example of Ogun standard.”
Amosun recalled the distinguished and revolutionary leadership of Adesina as Minister for Agriculture in Nigeria.
He hailed Adesina for breaking the “age-long fertiliser cartel that had kept the price of the farm input beyond the reach of the average Nigerian farmer, through the introduction of the e-Wallet system of agricultural input distribution.”