Tunde Opalana, Abuja
Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari on Thursday lauded the former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof. Bamanga Tukur for roles played in securing debt cancellation for Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.
He said Tukur has not been properly recognized and commended for the nationalistic role in the economic emancipation of the country.
Prof. Gambari made the disclosure at a book presentation by Tukur at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
Gambari who represented President Buhari at the occasion recalled Bamanga Tukur’s activities with Tony Blair led Commission for Africa in 2004/2005 and how that led to the 2005 G8 Summit landmark decision on debt cancellation for 32 African countries.
According to the presidential aide, prior to that time, many poor African countries were using large portion of their little resources to service debt obligations.
He said “the benefits of debt cancellation was that many African countries were then able to free up resources which they previously channeled into debt servicing and deployed them into socio-economic and infrastructural projects.
“That explained the fact that shortly after, the fastest growing economy was from Africa which perfectly fuelled Africa’s rising narrative. To my mind, many credits are not yet given to the role played by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur in the process. We must recognize that now.
“Unfortunately, these debts that were incurred in the past previous to debt cancellation advocacy were not channeled into appropriate economic goods and services that directly lay the foundation upon which the economic growth will be experienced”.
However, Prof. Gambari said debt, if properly contracted and utilized effectively, is an important instrument in the economic blueprint of a government in its policy-making sphere.
He said President Buhari is “determined to execute these projects and ensure that before he departs office, under his watch, infrastructure gap of Nigeria which was widened has been reduced considerably”.
The presidential aide added that Tukur after serving as Honourable Minister of Trade and Industry dedicated his energy and passion to shape public policies, private sector development, and public-private partnerships through the platform of Africa’s Business Roundtable.
Also, the chairman of, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Gen Buba Marwa (rtd) described Tafida Adamawa as a man of many parts.
He described him as “an astute administrator, philanthropist, farmer, statesman, industrialist, diplomat, a man of honour and integrity, a man of substance, a man of exemplary character, and unblemished life.
“When he was in active politics, he played it without bitterness and rancour. Tafida is a great father and a teacher of all”.