by Demola Adesina
On the Saturday, 23rd October 2010, the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) organized a gala to sensitise executives about the activities of the organisation, celebrate members and raise funds for future plans and activities of the Initiative. The event, tagged Champion of Values, was held at the Landmark Village Event Centre, Lagos.
The night began with a cocktail reception where guests interacted. At 8pm, the gala commenced with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by the Adrenaline Band. Host Tee-A, kept the atmosphere alive with jokes. In his opening remark, Minister of Finance and NLI founder, Segun Aganga, highlighted the importance of right leadership skills in any nation and emphasised the role NLI plays into building a class of right leaders.
Guest Speaker and Chairman of Board of First Bank of Nigeria, Chief Oba Otudeko, commended the efforts of NLI and emphasised the need for business organisations and executives to contribute to the success of this initiative. He stressed that proper training is required as passion is best complemented with experience.
Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Budgeting and Economic Planning, Mrs Modupe Oguntuase, speaking on behalf of her boss, Governor Babatunde Fashola re-iterated the need for proper ideology-based governance. He also spoke of the need to study leadership principles and models. On youth involvement, Governor Fashola says the youth need to be taken more seriously as symbiosis with the government leads to faster development. In his words, ‘the youth should influence the government as the government influences the youth’.
The high point of the night was the fundraising to support the various projects of the NLI. These projects include: Electorate Education and Government Accountability Program which aims to mobilise and educate voters; Small and Growing Business Network, which aims to mentor and support young entrepreneurs; youth focused CLEVER which aims to build character, Leadership, Education, Values Efforts and Results; Cartoon Project and Clever Clubs aimed at subtly ingraining the message of self development and community responsibility in young Nigerians.
Attendance at the event included various captains of industry and governance. Guests included Aliko Dangote Jim Ovia, Jacob Ajekigbe and Mallam Nasir El-Rufai among others.
NLI was established in 2006 by present Minister of Finance, Mr Olusegun Aganga with the support from the then Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr Christopher Kolade. The aim of this association is to create a platform where credible Nigerian leaders can develop and express their leadership dreams and launch such into developing Nigeria. To actualise this dream of a better leadership, NLI keeps a body of Fellows and Associates and organises Bi-annual leadership seminars for them.
It’s October class of Associates were also in attendance: their class, at the Protea Hotel in Lagos, and were recognised at the event. They include radio presenter Tosyn Bucknor, Bellanaija.com editor, Uche Eze, Linda Ikeji and others.