AFDB President Adesina proposes new name for Nigeria

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’ Proposed by Adesina as Alternate Name for Nigeria

The President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has advocated for a significant rebranding of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, suggesting the country be renamed ‘The United States of Nigeria.’

The proposal was made public through a statement by his Special Adviser on Industrialization, Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, following a lecture Adesina delivered where he received the 2024 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership.

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In his lecture titled ‘Making a New Nigeria: Welfarist Policies and People-Centred Development,’ Adesina articulated his vision for a transformed national identity that reflects a more decentralized governance structure.

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He argued that renaming the country would fundamentally shift the perception of the relationship between Nigeria’s states and the central government in Abuja.

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According to Adesina, this new nomenclature would position the states as pivotal entities within the federation, with the central government playing a supportive rather than a domineering role.

He said, “We must be audacious! Instead of the Federal Government of Nigeria, we could think of the United States of Nigeria. The old would give way to the new.

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“We would change the relational mindset between the states and Abuja: the fulcrum would be the states, while the center would support them, not lord over them.

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With good governance, better accountability systems, and zero tolerance for , more economically stronger constituent states would emerge! We would unleash massive wealth across the states. A New Nigeria would arise! To do so, we will need all of us, not some of us.

“From our forgotten rural villages to our boisterous and dynamic urban areas. From the sparks of desire in the eyes of our children to the lingering hope in the hearts of our youths.

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“From the yearnings of our women and mothers and our men and fathers for a better tomorrow, and the desires of the old that our end would be better than our past. From the hardworking street vendors and small businesses to the largest business conglomerates, we must create a movement of hope.

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The achievement of economically viable entities and the viability of the national entity requires constitutional changes to devolve more economic and fiscal powers to the states or regions. The stronger the states or regions, the stronger the federated units.”

Adesina reiterated that to get out of the economic quagmire, there is a compelling need for the restructuring of Nigeria, saying restructuring should not be driven by political expediency but by economic and financial viability.

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