Nigeria ready to host African Central Bank headquarters, Tinubu tells AU

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By Mathew Dadiya

President Bola Tinubu said Nigeria is ready to host the African Central Bank headquarters in line with the vision of the Abuja Treaty.

The President said this when he addressed leaders at the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Saturday.

Tinubu said his administration will engage the African Union Commission in collaboration with member states to ensure that the bank takes off as scheduled in 2028.

The President affirmed that Africa’s success in conclusively addressing its challenges hinges on the firmness of its resolution, built on a foundation of deep-rooted solidarity, if it is to avoid perpetuating existing problems and creating new ones.

“As a continent and as individual nations, we face strong headwinds and difficult hurdles threatening to complicate our mission to bring qualitative democratic governance and economic development to our people.

“Many of these obstacles, such as climate change and unfair patterns of global trade, are largely not of our making. However, some of the pitfalls, including coup-birthed autocracies and the deleterious tinkering with constitutional tenure provisions, are developmental cancers we as Africans are giving to ourselves,” he stated.

Speaking on the military takeovers in the Republics of Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, and the exit of three of these nations from ECOWAS, the President said disagreements over the unconstitutional changes of government should not mean a permanent rupture of the abiding lines of regional affinity and cooperation.

“The drive for a peaceful, strong, and united West Africa is bigger than any one person or group of people. The bonds of history, culture, commerce, geography, and brotherhood hold deep meaning for our people. Thus, out of the dust and fog of misunderstanding and acrimony, we must seize the chance to create a new people-centric era of trust and accord.

“To all who care to listen, I declare that if you come to the table to discuss important matters in good faith, you will find Nigeria and ECOWAS already sitting there waiting to greet you as the brother that you are,” he said.

On education, which is the theme of this year’s summit, the President said education is the core ingredient in the process of evolving creative solutions to the unique challenges long confronting the continent.

“In helping to achieve the Agenda 2063 objective of a peaceful, united and prosperous Africa, I consider African education, not only in the narrow context of the benign use of science and technology to improve the material standards of our people, but also in the nuanced appreciation of the fact that Africa must also become better educated in the humane art of democratic practice, diplomacy, and conflict resolution without violence.

“This year’s theme encourages us to remodel our educational systems to fit these goals. In Nigeria, my administration is devoting ample resources to education at all levels. From redesigning our school feeding programmes and academic curricula to making ourselves an Information and Communication Technology hub, through which we shall bring more youths into the classroom and furnish them with the tools required to flourish in the global economy of the 21st century,” he said.

The President used the occasion to extend invitation to the Africa Counter-Terrorism Summit scheduled to take place in April 2024, in Abuja, stating that the summit aims to expand discussions beyond military and law enforcement remedies to comprehensively tackle the root causes of violent extremism, such as poverty, inadequate political access, and the propagation of hateful ideologies.