African Development Bank President Advocates for Nigerian Youths to Stay and Thrive at Home

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, delivered a stirring message on Wednesday, emphasizing the importance of Nigeria’s youth investing their future in their homeland rather than seeking opportunities abroad.

Speaking at the 2023 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership in Lagos, where he was honoured with the prestigious award, Adesina underscored the need for Nigeria to become a conducive environment for its citizens to flourish, rather than a place to escape from.

Addressing an audience comprised of former heads of state, state governors, royal fathers, and other distinguished Nigerians, Adesina expressed his conviction that the future of Nigeria’s youth must be rooted in Africa, particularly in Nigeria. He urged Nigerians to take pride in their country and transform its demographic dividend into an economic asset.

Highlighting the issue of migration, especially among the youth, Adesina lamented that the trend does not foster sustainability for the nation. He stressed the importance of retaining Nigeria’s best talents at home while leveraging the skills of those in the diaspora through flexible immigration and labour policies.

Adesina unveiled the African Development Bank’s $614 million program aimed at supporting Nigeria’s digital and creative enterprises, to create jobs and contribute N6.4 billion to the economy. He emphasized the necessity of addressing market failures and institutional gaps to harness the potential of Nigeria’s youthful population.

Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), lauded Adesina as a shining example of Nigerian excellence, describing him as hardworking, diligent, brilliant, forward-looking, and deeply patriotic.


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