Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) Inducts Future Leaders
After five days of brainstorming and analyses of factors that could promote the development of the country, participants in the future leader seminar, organised by the Nigerian Leadership Initiative (NLI), were inducted at the weekend.
The ceremony was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Victoria Island, Lagos. The seminar was sponsored by First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
The 28 young participants of ages 25 and 35 and drawn from various sectors, were the successful among the 749 applicants who applied for the seminar. They were selected after a rigorous screening exercise, which required them to write an essay about factors affecting development and the solutions to the challenge.
NLI Chairman Dr Yinka Oyinlola said the objectives of the initiative included discovering youths with foresight to develop a value-based leadership skills with the aim of transforming the country.
He said the participants, after the leadership seminar, would execute projects of their choice through which they would demonstrate their leadership values. The projects, the initiator said, should address the need of the people and have impacts within the Nigerian community.
Oyinlola described leadership as a tough war.
He said the future leader seminar was unique because NLI had been able to attract the best among the youth and prepare them for the challenges ahead.
Congratulating the participants, he said: “These NLI associates are going into the world to serve as moral conscience. As you face challenges of life, we do hope you will be able to apply the values you have learnt in the past five days to solve the problems in your respective organisations.”
The Deputy Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ms Julie Koenen, described the participants as development partners.
She said the U.S agency had been monitoring the NLI activities in promoting value-based leadership, adding that the USAID had found out how to partner the initiative to achieve its objectives.
She urged the participants to propagate the knowledge in their environment, adding: “Great leaders make things happen.”
Some of the participants gave testimonies on how the future leader seminar added values to their lives.
Bankole Makanju described the seminar as fantastic experience. He said: “My class was beyond amazing. The seminar has made me to energise and it refreshes my memory about value-based leadership.”
Habibat Mustapha, an employee of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, said the seminar changed the wrong notion she had about NLI.
“I never thought any good could ever come out of Nigeria until I met these great minds with whom I exchanged ideas. Now, my thinking about the initiative has changed and I must thank my employer for the opportunity given to me,” she said.
Ademola Adewale Sadiq, a New York-based attorney, said the initiative helped him to re-connect with his root and play his role in Nigeria’s development.
He said: “Growing up outside the country has its challenges but I continued to have the thought that I could not run away from my country. As a young Nigerian, I believe I have a role to play in changing the attitude of youths towards leadership and development.”
The highpoint of the programme was the investiture of the participants as NLI associates, where they were given certificates of participation.
The NLI Programme Director, Mr Anthony Ubani said the seminar involved three stages of conversation.
“They had conversation across the ages, which is the first level. The second level of conversation is among the peers, while the third level is conversation with themselves, with their conscience.
“We believe at the end of these conversations, we will have sufficiently provoked them to understand the dynamics of value-based leadership and to understand their role in building a better Nigeria,” he said.
Mrs. Obianuju Anakwe Akanbi, who spoke on behalf of the First Bank management, said the bank would continue to empower the youth to work for the development of the country.
Culled from The Nation
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