As Nigeria grapples with leadership challenges across various sectors, Nigerian Prize for Leadership (NPL) has called on Federal Government to declare December 12 every year a national leadership day, beginning in 2023.
NPL while reaffirming its belief that the task of nation-building is a joint effort of both government and citizens, said it will continue to lead the way in supporting the government to appropriately address the challenge of leadership deficit in the country.
“Since 2020 we have set aside the 12th of December each year to call attention to the importance of effective leadership in building our nation”, the chairman of NPL Governing Board, Prof. Anya O. Anya said at the investiture of former Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro as the winner 2021 Nigeria Prize For Leadership recently in Abuja.
“This is the third edition of this initiative and we can confirm that the value has been significant. We will explore the way forward on how we will amplify this modest effort into a national movement that will with time redefine Nigeria as a symbol of right values, honesty and integrity, a truly pan-Nigerian initiative” Prof. Anya further stated.
He pledged the readiness of NPL to provide good content to effectively mark the day in a most rewarding way for all citizens, government, and the nation.
Prof. Anya while underlining that getting it right in leadership has become a matter of urgent action expressed the belief that setting a day aside for this purpose will demonstrate the government’s disposition to redefine the character of leadership in the country, as well as enable citizens and organizations to give it exceptional attention.
Backing this call, the Executive Secretary, of Nigerian Prize for Leadership, Dr. Ike Neliaku said the organization’s experience in the past three years indicates that Nigerians desire exceptional leadership, which he told NPL is working tirelessly towards providing quality input.
“We believe that as we continue to do this, to mark this day, it is something that will raise leadership consciousness in the minds of Nigerians. It is a very important call, a day we will look at issues of leadership, identify models of leadership, and those who have done well, we celebrate them.
“NPL is willing to partner with the federal government to develop the content for this day, qualitative content that will answer its name in all ramifications”, he stated.
Prof. Bogoro in his response expressed gratitude to the NPL selection panel as well as the Governing Board for finding him fit for the N25m prize award, saying the transparency and confidentiality deployed in screening nominees for the Prize, which later produced him as the winner should serve as a guide to other institutions.
He expressed gladness that his modest efforts in setting the leadership pace with the privileged positions he had occupied are being recognized and appreciated.
Prof. Bogoro attributed the failure of leadership to local authorities, states, regions, and entire countries to selfishness and the desperate quest for personal profits.
“Most leaders who failed the country and the people are those who preoccupy themselves with personal interests and in the process, they are not bothered about the moral obligations of rendering service and emphasizing on personal privileges at the expense of the people you are called to lead, or indeed serve.
“This is because many of us don’t bother to know that the best stewardship is servant leadership”, he said.
Chairman of the prize presentation and the Vice Chairman, of Governing Board of NPL, Prof. Jerry Gana said the selection and screening panel made up of eminent Nigerians independently assembled from various parts of the country set a standard with which all nominees were screened and Prof. Bogoro emerged the winner.
He said the selection panel led by Engr. Mansur Ahmad, a former Group Executive Director of NNPC and immediate past president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, was very independent without any interference from the Governing Board.