By Ify Onyekwere
Policy, democracy, and governance stability, among other strategic issues centered on national productivity, were raised during a three-day Leadership and Governance Clinic/training organized by the Institute for Governance and Leadership Studies in Africa (IGLSA).
The meeting, which took place from the 5th to the 7th of December 2022, was attended by captains of industry from both the private and public sectors, members of the press, youth organizations, and Non-Governmental Organizations.
The program was held at the Nigerian Army Resource Center in Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria, with the goal of developing a critical mass of Nigerian youth leaders with capacity and skills in leadership and governance, as well as encouraging greater investments and focus on leadership and governance by both the government and non-state sector.
Former Federal Permanent Secretary Mr. Ayodele Folayan stated in a paper titled Policy Processes, Management and National Development that although security and social welfare are among the government’s general primary goals, its responsibilities have expanded due to the impact of technology. He pointed out that the government now has more responsibilities. An example of an additional responsibility of government that would not be left out for better governance is steps to ensure that individual rights are protected on social media.
Mr. Folayan emphasized the significance of policy while acknowledging that some policies tend to fail but pointed that it is the more reason policy management is essential. He invited all those present to participate in the five steps of the policy-making process. From problem identification to policy design, adoption, implementation, to policy evaluation.
The National Program Manager of the United Kingdom UKAID Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn, Mr. Ifeanyi Peters Ugwuoke, spoke at the event as well on the subject of the principles, processes, and practice of governance. According to him, the world is competitive, and young Nigerians working in the fintech sector are already taking advantage of this without waiting for a quota system. He urged the audience to value accountability and the rule of law, saying that without these two, no nation could have an effective government. “There is no governance without leadership,” he said.
A special presentation on democracy, development, and national security was also given by Major General K.A. Role (Ret. ), a former GOC of the 1 Mechanized Infantry Division of the Nigerian Army.
The Governor of Adamawa State, His Excellency, Rt Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, and Professor Nuhu O. Yakub, a former vice chancellor of the University of Abuja, were also in attendance. Dr. Lanre Adebayo, the Director-General of IGLSA, gave the opening remarks.
Others included Solomon Adodo, President, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Comrade Wale Ajani, Former President, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Ambassador Dr. Chema Chikwe, Former Minister of Aviation and Former Nigerian High Commissioner to Ireland, Dr. Hope Uweja, Country Director, Results for Development (R4D) Nigeria, Dr. Sina Fagbenro-Bryon, and Comrade Wale Ajani.
The program, the first from the Institute for Governance and Leadership Studies in Africa, decided to create an alumni structure of the program’s mentees with the goal of offering a national platform for sustainability, mutual support, and drawing attention to issues of governance and leadership. With this development, the government and non-state sector were urged to make more investments and put more emphasis on leadership and governance.