The major factor that inspired the founding of NLI was the absence of a credible platform for highly accomplished Nigerians in the Diaspora and Nigeria to play a significant role in helping to transform our country/societies. So many successful Nigerians have a lot to offer as critical stakeholders in our country’s development.
Another inspiration for the idea was the remarkable progress the country had made, in certain areas, during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. There was a sustained and effective fight against corruption at the time and we had some very technically competent, enthusiastic, dedicated reformers in the Government. In spite of all the odds, these individuals were committed to playing a major role in transforming our country. We felt they needed the support and help from a group like NLI. Those were the two main inspirations for the initial idea.
So far, NLI’s contributions have not only been recognised in Nigeria but by international organisations. The World Bank requested NLI to develop a similar leadership program in Rwanda. The UK All Political Parties Group identified NLI as one of the most credible and effective Nigerian organisation, in its report on Nigeria. In addition, the Aspen Institute in Colorado, Goldman Sachs, and other local institutions have been very supportive of our efforts and deserve due recognition.
Overall, we have made very good progress and the Initiative has been sustained by the passion, sacrifice and commitment demonstrated by the Fellows and Associates class discussions and leadership projects. They like many other Nigerians remind us of the incredible accomplishments of Nigerians globally and give us pride and hope that we can and will transform our country.
NLI Senior Fellows, Fellows and Associate Fellows are required to undertake a personal leadership projects. The design and implementation of these projects are according to set guidelines and are monitored to ensure that they have a meaningful impact on the society. For example, the projects must address a pressing need within the Nigerian society and show discernible results within a year of its inception. Projects should be both innovative and ambitious, involving the relevant skills and resources of the Fellows.