As part of the efforts to inspire the needed purposeful and quality leadership in Nigeria, eminent Nigerians have concluded plans to commence the reward for quality and value-driven leadership in all facets of life in Nigeria with a Prize starting from 2020.
These great Nigerians, who have served the country in different capacities and endeavours, have noted that many young Nigerians don’t have the motivation anymore to toe the path of good leadership or offer selfless services to their fatherland, a situation which led to the setup of this meritorious prize and encouragement.
At the press conference for the maiden edition of the Nigerian Prize for Leadership, held Thursday in Lagos, members of the Governing Board of the Prize, led by Professor Anya O Anya; Prof Jerry Gana; and Dr. Christopher Kolade, among others, stressed that Nigeria is presently in dire need of good leaders, hence the “effort of the distinguished Nigerians to establish the Prize for Leadership and put in place a leadership culture to reinvent the essence and heritage of Nigerian shared values.”
He said other objectives the Board is aimed at achieving include to institute a credible process of identifying Nigerians who have excelled in their various field through outstanding leadership; use the process and the Prize to recognise, honour as well as celebrate such Nigerians who have demonstrated true leadership, and to promote the art and deepen the value of leadership in Nigeria.
According to Anya, who read the speech on behalf of others, “we recognised that the enormous damage done to the Federal Republic of Nigeria over the years by poor leadership without sharpened capacity is incalculable.
“Indeed the very fabric of our society has been deeply shaken and could be shattered if urgent actions are not taken, hence, the urgent wisdom of a fundamental intervention aimed at raising high quality leaders.
“Humanity’s history has shown that as long as the leadership question remains unresolved, the challenges of human progress will also remain unresolved. Leadership is the key to development. Good leadership opens a variety of great and powerful doors.
“But leaders do not just emerge automatically; leaders are raised through deliberate education, mentoring, training and discipline. That is why we are so determined to put in this deliberate effort to raise leaders of excellence, capacity and integrity.”
He stated the Board is fundamentally seeking to address some issues with Prize, which include what really represent qualitative and value-based leadership to Nigerians, as well as “what we teach and project to Nigerian youths as leadership,” asking: “Are we gradually imbibing and celebrating a culture of corruption as leadership.
“Do mere construction of roads, sinking of boreholes, provision of electricity, and availability of healthcare facilities, constitute all it takes to provide leadership, should the current western leadership culture be wholly accepted, embraced and imbibed as the ideal paradigm in Nigeria and should there not be a credible agenda-setting framework for benchmarking leadership in Nigeria? These are fundamental issues we want to achieve with the constitution of this Leadership Prize.”
The chairman of the governing board added that the prize would be based on merit as the board and the committee, which will be constituted later, would go through a daunting task to assess and pick the winner for the prize to be awarded annually on every December 12 starting from 2020.
He stated that other elements of the Prize include Protégé Leadership Programme and International Clinic and Exhibition, adding that the Prize comes with prize money for the winner, which will be made public at the appropriate time, as the funding will be through grants, supports, donation and sponsorship from partner organisations.