Eminent Nigerians lament leadership gaps, fault proposed 2018 budget


Eminent Nigerians and world leaders in Abuja yesterday decried the growing leadership gaps in the country.

They stressed that unless the country focuses on building human capacity to deliver a culture of innovation for personal and national prosperity, projected development may remain elusive.

Those who expressed this view are Minister, Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Bello, Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, Cultural Affairs Officer, United States Embassy, Larry Socha.

Others are Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Matters, Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Convener, Emerging Leaders Conference, Linus Okorie, among others.

They spoke at the 2017 Emerging Leaders Conference in Abuja adding that the lack of yearning for enterprise, especially among young Nigerians was dangerous for the country’s budding population.

The participants, who also faulted the proposed 2018 budget President Muhammadu Buhari recently presented to the National Assembly, especially in the area of leadership development, noted that it was clear that the current administration did not prioritise human capacity development.

Bello attributed the challenges confronting the country to poor leadership, insisting that Nigeria would have been among the world’s powerhouse provided the country boast of good leaders who are willing to sacrifice for national development.

While lauding the contributions of extraordinary Nigerians to the development of the world, particularly in other countries, he urged Nigerians to come together to propel the country’s development.

Speaking on the need for accurate planning, Ahmed said the current administration was mindful of the need to fast track economic growth through youth development.

She disclosed that the government has set aside about N500 billion for youth development, especially through small and medium scale development.

But Okorie said the country has limited interest in leadership development, stressing that the 2018 budget undermined its need.

While governments around across the world are investing heavily in leadership development to drive growth, especially investment in leadership capital of young people, Okorie stated that reverse was the case in Nigeria.

“If we must guarantee a team of young people in this country, who are great thinkers, who believe in this country then we must invest in their capacity. That is why leadership development for me is the best thing that can happen to this country.

“In this budget that has just been created it will interest you to know that we don’t have a huge subhead for leadership development. There is nothing like that in a national budget. How can you grow a country without investment in what is suppose to be our asset-our young people? Okorie asked.

He said the conference was specifically designed to bridge the gap in leadership to enable young people to learn and lead in national development.

Speaking, Socha urged Nigerian youth to get involve in national development, especially in shaping the future they desired.

Urging young Nigerians to take advantage of the programmes of the US on youth development, Socha stressed on the need for the minds of young Nigerians to be stimulated towards the country’s development.



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