The United States Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, on Tuesday phoned the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to discuss the roles of the African Development Bank and multilateral initiatives in accelerating economic recovery and regional security.

The two men also reviewed Nigeria’s progress in fighting COVID-19 and the $30 million US assistance that has helped to strengthen the nation’s public health and humanitarian response.

President of the AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, had been in the eye of the storm over allegations of impropriety levelled against him by some whistleblowers working in the bank.

The bank’s Ethics’ Committee which investigated the allegations gave him a clean bill which was accepted by the Board of Governors, but the United States rejected the report and demanded a fresh probe by an independent body.

The board subsequently authorised an independent review of the Ethics Committee report on Akinwumi, who is due for re-election as the sole presidential candidate, having received the backing of Nigeria and other African countries.

A statement by the Office of the US Department of State Spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, said Pompeo and Onyeama agreed that transparency and accountability would drive democratic and inclusive development.

The statement said the US also condoled with Nigeria over last week’s Islamic State of West Africa attacks in the North-East which claimed many lives.