The immediate past Executive Secretary, of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro has emerged as the winner 2021 Nigeria Prize For Leadership (NPL) with an N25,000,000.00 cash prize. He emerged winner in the 2021 edition of the annual event but was decorated at an investiture that took place at Sheraton Hotels Abuja on Monday.
Prof. Jerry Gana, a former Minister of Information who was also the Chairman Prize Presentation Ceremony said in his remark that Prof. Bogoro’s emergence followed a highly elaborate and competitive selection and screening process by the prize selection panel.
“However, the prize winner was not available on the 12th of December last year to receive the prize in person as required by our statute, hence this gathering this evening to witness the ceremony of prize presentation to the winner”, Gana, Vice Chairman of NPL Governing board stated.
He explained that the NPL Governing Board convened a panel of experts to ensure that a credible personality emerges as the winner of the Prize of Leadership.
He listed as criteria used in screening the nominees as impact on society, and character in terms of integrity, honesty, courage, consistency, compassion, and charisma.
Other yardsticks deployed according to the former Minister include competence and capacity, governance, creativity, innovation and vision, diversity and inclusion, especially having a good record of a sense of justice, fairness, and equity, sacrifice with reference to selflessness in service, role modeling and ability to bring up other leaders.
He said the selection panel led by Engr. Mansur Ahmad was very independent and no single member of the governing board was on the panel.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Governing Board of the Nigerian Prize for Leadership, Prof. Anya O. Anya said NPL is a product of the vision and commitment of some eminent Nigerians determined to chart a new course for deliberate action aimed at identifying and re-inventing a new culture of leadership driven by values, a new mindset, integrity and pursuit of excellence.
At the event, which also witnessed the conferment of fellowship awards to 17 young Nigerians, Prof. Anya said there is a need to invest time and resources to raise a strong and credible successor generation of leaders on a sustainable basis and across different sectors of society.
“NPL is a truly Nigerian leadership prize that will inspire Nigerians to lead a life larger than self, driven by the interest of the community, of the nation, and of humanity. It is our hope that it will grow to be the highest, most reliable, and prestigious single leadership prize in Nigeria, devoid of political, religious, and ethnic bias”, he stated.
He extolled Prof. Bogoro for exhibiting sterling performances with uncommon zeal and energy in various capacities he has served the country.
Prof. Anya expressed regret that the country is passing through challenging times but expressed optimism that Nigeria can witness a remarkable difference that can transform it into a truly great nation only if a season of exceptional leadership is ushered in across the board.
According to him, NPL has been at the forefront in canvassing for exceptional leadership in the country on the 12th of every December since 2020.
He called on Federal Government to declare December 12, beginning in 2023 as a national leadership day as part of efforts to escalate the contributions of NPL in putting the country on a pedestal of right values, honesty, and integrity.
The Executive Secretary of NPL, Dr. Ike Neliaku backed Prof. Anya’s call for the declaration of December 12 as a national leadership day, saying the country requires exceptional leadership and that it will further raise the consciousness of citizens towards working for more effective leadership in the country.
Prof. Bogoro who is the inaugural winner of the prize expressed gratitude to the Governing Board of NPL for finding him worthy of the honor.
He urged other award institutions to take a cue from NPL’s transparency and professionalism.
“The thorough scrutiny, strictly confidential, firmly merit-based process of my emergence will be a reference point for other award merit processes in Nigeria”, he stated.
Prof. Bogoro, a prolific researcher with over 65 publications is a fellow of numerous organizations within and outside Nigeria.