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Adesina, others receive Nigerian diaspora global Icon award



Adesina, others receive Nigerian diaspora global Icon award


The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina has been conferred with the prestigious National Diaspora Merit Award by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).

In a statement issued by the bank in Abuja, said Adesina was honoured in recognition of his selfless service and contributions as a Nigerian Diaspora Global Icon.

The statement said he was honoured alongside other recipients in the Global Icon category such as the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, and Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Receiving the award on behalf of Adesina, the Director-General of AfDB Group Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barrow expressed gratitude to NIDCOM.

“For the great recognition of president Adesina’s outstanding achievements and contributions to Nigeria and the continent’s development efforts.

“The award will inspire him further to continue his unrelenting efforts for Nigeria and Africa’s transformation,” Barrow said.

He quoted Adesina in a statement as saying,“I thank NIDCOM and I am pleased to accept the award with humility.

“I am deeply touched by this acknowledgement of my modest contributions to finance and economics and my recognition as a role model to other Nigerians in the diaspora.”

Often described as “Africa’s Optimist-in-Chief”, Adesina is widely lauded for his visionary leadership and passion for Africa’s transformation.

His bold reforms as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture turned the sector around in four years, benefiting 15 million farmers through an electronic wallet system.

As AfDB president, Adesina achieved the highest-ever capital increase and led swift responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has received numerous accolades, including the World Food Prize and African of the Year.

More than 20 other Nigerians in the diaspora, including Emeritus Professor Augustine Esogbue, Professor Mobolaji Aluko and Professor Rotimi Jayesimi, received awards in various categories.

The categories include education, politics, information and communications technology, leadership development, medicine and healthcare, automobile, philanthropy and sports.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of NIDCOM, Dr Abike Dabiri-Erewa said the conferment of a National Diaspora Merit Award on Adesina was in recognition of his selfless service.

Dabiri-Erewa said the recognition was also for his contributions as a Nigerian Diaspora Global Icon, adding that NIDCOM appreciated Adesina’s “unflinching love and contributions to national development”.

“This award is predicated upon the importance of recognising and celebrating Nigerians in the diaspora who have excelled in their various fields of endeavour and contributing to the development of Nigeria.

“These exceptional Nigerians have, over time, contributed to making Nigeria a better place in their own capacities.


“It is thus important that the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Commission, recognises their remarkable feats,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NIDCOM is an agency under Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for engaging with the Nigerian diaspora community.

The award ceremony took place during the National Diaspora Day 2023 in Abuja and was organised under the theme: “Consolidating Diaspora Engagement for National Development”.

Other guests present at the award included AfDB’s Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, Prof. Kevin Urama, and Dr Adesina’s Adviser on Stakeholder Engagement, Ms Lola Visser-Mabogunje.

Also present were executives and members of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) from across the world, senior government, officials, captains of industry and members of the diplomatic community among others.


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