According to a statement by the US Department of State Spokesperson Morgan Ortega, the duo during a telephone conversation agreed that the activities of the bank should be transparent and accountable as that would ‘drive democratic and inclusive development.’
Recall that the AfDB’s President, Akinwunmi Adesina, had been accused of multiple cases of abuse and breaches of the bank’s code of ethics by a group of anonymous staff which he was later cleared by the bank’s ethics committee.
However, the US treasury Secretary raised reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process and called for an independent outside investigator of high professional standing.
This led to outrage by some Africans with one of the most vocal coming from former Nigeria’s president, Olusegun Obasanjo, who accused the US of disparaging the bank and ridiculing ‘the entire governance system of the bank which has been in place since 1964.’
In what appears to be reaching a truce on the crisis, the United States and Nigeria agreed that transparency and accountability will drive democratic and inclusive development in the bank.
During the phone call with Nigeria’s foreign minister, the US also condoled with Nigeria over recent killings in the North-East which claimed many lives.
The statement reads:
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama.
Secretary Pompeo expressed condolences for the loss of life in recent ISIS West Africa attacks in the northeast, and the two discussed Nigeria’s ongoing civilian protection and counter-terrorism efforts.
Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Onyeama reviewed Nigeria’s progress in fighting COVID-19 and the $30 million in recent U.S. assistance that has helped to strengthen Nigeria’s public health and humanitarian response.
They also discussed the African Development Bank and the constructive role of multilateral initiatives in accelerating economic recovery and regional security, and they agreed that transparency and accountability will drive democratic and inclusive development.
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