President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, formally received the Transformer of Nigerian Agriculture Award earlier conferred on him by the Central Committee of the Nigeria Agriculture Award(NAA).
The event which held on Wednesday, December 16th at the African Development Bank headquarters, Abidjan, Ivory Coast had top executives of the Bank and members of the Central Committee of the NAA in attendance.
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Speaking at the event, the Committee’s Chairman, Professor Emmanuel Ikani disclosed that the Award was in recognition of Dr. Adesina’s bold reform initiatives and extensive policies, which helped in revamping Nigeria’s agricultural sector – this being in particular reference to the Agricultural Transformation Agenda he initiated while serving as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for Nigeria.
Ikani extolled Adesina’s efforts, especially in stamping out corruption in the fertiliser sector, and his success at providing succour to millions of smallholder farmers across the country.
In his response, Dr. Adesina stated that the successes recorded under the ATA were not his singular achievement, and credited several advisors, partners and consultants who assisted him with his quest to bring an erstwhile tottering sector back to reckoning.
He had special commendation for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for pledging to retain and deepen the ATA. Speaking further, Adesina reaffirmed the commitment of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in helping to feed Africa, and develop agriculture.
AfDB Vice President, Ms. Cecilia Akintomide expressed gratitude to the NAA Team for coming all the way from Nigeria to Abidjan to present the award.
Stating the importance of recognition,  she stated that it motivates those who have done well to do better, while also persuading others to get involved in productive ends. Akintomide stated further that the recognition accorded Dr. Adesina is also for the AfDB.
Director-General of the NAA Secretariat and CEO/Editor-in-Chief of AgroNigeria, Mr Richard-Mark Mbaram, seized the opportunity of the event to disclose that subsequent editions of the NAA would be planned with broader street participation, as Nigerians would be able to vote, for both the award nominees and eventual winners, through their mobile phones.