– Honours two Nigerians through AAF
It was double celebration for Pharm. Akinjide Adeosun, CEO, St. Racheal’s Pharmaceuticals Limited and founder, Akinjide Adeosun Foundation (AAF), as he marked his 53rd birthday in style, while AAF recognised two Nigerians for their visionary roles in the private sector. The events took place at the 6th AAF Colloquium, held at the All Souls Church, Lekki, Lagos, recently.
The two recipients of the AAF 2021 Visionary Leadership Award were Dr Innocent Chukwuma, group chairman of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing; and Dr (Mrs) Kehinde Nwani, CEO of Meadow Schools.
Speakers at the occasion, including the former Chairman of First Bank Plc, Mrs Ibukun Awosika; Founder\CEO of Cable Newspaper Limited, Mr Simon Kolawole and a 100 Level Industrial Mathematics student of Covenant University, Ota, AshepeOluwa Oyedepo, stressed the need for Nigerian leaders to have clear and meaningful vision at both government and private sector levels.
They also unanimously agreed that moving Nigeria out of its protracted economic and political woes is what is required of visionary leaders.
Speaking through the Zoom virtual platform, Awosika said since citizens cannot give up on the country, it is required that everyone has to play his or her part – particularly from the family level up to the community and then to the government – in moving Nigeria forward.
She added that the foundation of visionary leadership, whether in government or private life, is a long-term process and all-encompassing, beginning from childbirth and continuing till adulthood.
She urged parents to lay good examples for their children, saying children mostly learn things – particularly leadership virtues – from parents and other family members, while school and the larger society only play complementary roles.
Noting that whatever children learn from home has a tendency to influence their actions as they grow older, Awosika said: “That is why if the right things are done at the family level, it will certainly have positive effects on the communities and on the larger society.”
The former First Bank chairman stated further that leadership is an act of responsibility, which may not necessarily be for the smartest persons but for those who have good visions and can sacrifice, while understanding the limitations of people and communicating effectively to them.
She, however, noted that it is not as if Nigeria does not have people with such virtues but that many are not coming forward to take critical responsibilities, particularly in the government circle.
Speaking earlier, Pharm. Adeosun explained the rationale for setting up the Foundation, saying it is to strengthen capabilities in today’s leaders and also produce their likes among the younger generation as future leaders in Nigeria and beyond.
He said that the Foundation’s vision is geared towards contributing to national development, adding that its efforts within six years of existence have yielded great results.
Adeosun further said this is why the Foundation honours only individuals who have demonstrated great leadership virtues, such as good character, honesty and integrity – not only in their chosen fields but in all spheres of life.
Speaking on the topic, “A raison d’etre for nation-building,” Adeosun defined visionary leaders as those who can, among others, identify potentials and support them for positive change and significant contributions to nation-building.
He pointed out that what Nigeria needs now particularly in political governance are leaders chosen based on merit and not on rotational basis.
He also emphasised the need to share generated revenues in each state of the federation in the ratio of 80 per cent to state and 20 per cent to the federal government, stating that this would be of tremendous help towards genuine development. He also urged government at all levels to invest more in building people and also in healthcare, stressing that the two sectors are the drivers of any economy.
Participants at the colloquium also called on the government to run an inclusive administration, which will encourage youths to take active part in government.
While recommending inclusion of leadership training in Nigeria’s secondary school curriculum, the participants also noted the need to sustain the nation’s democracy as contained in the constitution, saying that leaders should henceforth emerge by merit and not on the condition of their tribe, sex, or religion.