Last weekend, the Nigerian Leadership Initiative inducted new set of young people into its associate program, Mr. Yinka Oyinlola, the CEO of the Organisation spoke with Seye Joseph and some selected journalists at the induction program on the intention of the organisation for staging the program
Can you please tell us what NLI associate program entails?
What we have done over the past four days is to bring together very accomplished young Nigerians for our future leaders seminars which we had several sections on value based , character driven and leadership to build young leaders that will fit into different leadership capacity.
To what significant is this leadership training to the development of Nigeria?
No matter how strong an institution is poor leadership will destroy it and we have seen example around the world where bad system and poor countries were turned around by good people so our mission at NLI is to ensure that Nigeria is govern by character drivers, value based and purposeful leaders. As a result of that we believe that when we go with the youths and sharpen their leadership capacity, hopefully at some point they will form a critical line that will drive positive change in Nigerian.
Why young people, why not those in government already?
Leadership is not only generational, it is transferable. We have accomplished leaders, NLI senior fellows and rising leaders, NLI fellows and these are our future leaders, associates fellow of NLI and our intend is ensure is deepen their leadership strength so that the way they lead their life, the way they will live others they can show the values we have been discussing for the past four days.
Can our country have leaders like Lin Kuan Yew, Mandela and others?
One of our sessions at the event is about the attitudes of effect leaders, it is not that we don’t have leaders in Nigeria but we need purposeful leaders, leaders who can say this is what we are doing and these are the means that we must deploy to achieve the aim of the goal. We had several sessions of value, we talked about equality, efficiency, community, and we talked about leadership and values.
In what way would you advise our present leaders in Nigeria?
First and foremost, it is the choice of the people that will be helping him to make good decision and to make Nigeria a better place but there must be purposeful Nigerians. In addition to that, we need strong institutions, we need character based leadership. So it is extremely important, the composition of his cabinet must be people who are value driven and it is very easy, giving the enormous challenges that he is going to handling, he has 100 days to perform most of his duties. Though, there are linkages he must deal with.
What were the processes for applying for this associate program?
This 2015 class, we are very fortunate to have this set of 27 young people, we went through a process of selection which over 1000 Nigerians competed for from all around the world only 27 slots. The consequence was that we were able to select the best of the best and as a result of that, there was an active engagement among them. The conversation that they have was such that enrich them, they are Nigerians from different parts of the world, United State, United Arab Emirate, United Kingdom. In terms of project they are undertaking, Our approach at NLI in learning is taking responsibility because our program is to move them from success to significant and to move them from taught to action so the action that they are going to undertaking is the health sector part project focus on infant mortality rate.