With the induction of 28 participants as NLI Associate Fellows at the end of the 11th Future Leaders Seminar, which took place at the serene Epe Resort & Spa, Lagos, Nigeria from the 27th to 31st of May 2104, the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) with the support of its partner, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FBN) has attained the significant milestone of producing 300 NLI Associate Fellows.

The purpose of the FLS is to help mobilize and groom a critical mass of emerging leaders in Nigeria and in the Diaspora who will emerge as tomorrow's public and private sector leaders. The FLS targets credible young Nigerians between the ages of 25 – 35, with outstanding leadership attributes and accomplishments. Executed within four (4) days of intensive text based knowledge sharing, the FLS aims at creating a growing global network of community-spirited Nigerian leaders committed to taking responsibility for driving positive change in Nigeria.

Commenting, NLI's Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Yinka Oyinlola stated that "our goal has always been to develop a critical mass of accomplished and credible leaders who can take responsibility for the transformation of Nigeria. Therefore, with the attainment of the 300 NLI Associate Fellows milestone, it is gratifying and encouraging to witness that we are on course to achieving our set objectives. It is also instructive to note that past participants in the seminar inducted as NLI Associates have achieved prominence as top corporate Executives, public service and political leaders as well as leading reformers in the civil society sector. Adding that, NLI Associates continue to exhibit value-based leadership in their spheres of endeavors with the promise to continue into the future to serve as a force for good in Nigeria''.

According to FirstBank' Head, Marketing & Corporate Communication, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, "the development of 300 NLI Associate Fellows is indeed a significant milestone. First Bank is proud to be partnering with NLI to contribute to the development of these young emerging Nigerian leaders.". Ani-Mumuney said such youth development interventions form an integral part of the Bank's social responsibility initiatives. "FirstBank is delighted to be in partnership with NLI which represents a sustainable way of passing on leadership and entrepreneurship ideals from respected and proven individuals to the next generation. We are confident that the nation stands to gain immensely from the values based leadership of the leaders that NLI has already produced and those it will produce in the future through this seminal Future Leaders Program," she said.

In the course of the seminar, these young emerging leaders had their leadership skills, knowledge and confidence significantly honed and enhanced in preparation for them to assume a transformative role in the future development of Nigeria. Speaking further, the NLI Director of Programs, Anthony Ubani, explained that "we are very delighted at the achievement of this 300 milestone and we are thankful to First Bank for their steadfast support without which this milestone would not have been achieved. Ubani added that NLI "Future Leaders Seminar is unique in that it is not a training nor a workshop but a text based seminar which encourages participants to have three levels of conversations which NLI tags the 3C's. The first C represents a conversation with authors across the ages; the second C is about the participants having a conversation amongst themselves (with their peers); and the third C is the conversation that each participant has with their conscience. At the end of these conversations participants are encouraged to move from "thought to action" by undertaking an impactful class project that is conceived to add value and help create a better Nigerian society. These class projects represent a practical way of teaching these young leaders social responsibility and inculcating in them the value and importance of giving back to society."

Guest Speakers at the highly inspiring Seminar include such accomplished and credible leaders as Dr. Christopher Kolade, Chairman NLI Governing Board; Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, NLI Senior Fellow/Managing Partner, Aluko & Oyebode; Mr. Kola Oyeneyin, NLI Associate/Convener, GenVoices; Hon. Onofiok Luke, NLI Associate/Chairman appropriations Committee, Akwa Ibom State Assembly. Mr. Asue Ighodalo, Mr. Tunji Lardner, Mr. Jinmi Morgan and Mr. Yinka Oyinlola moderated the seminar sessions. The Future Leaders Seminar closed on Saturday, May 31, 2014 with an induction dinner at the prestigious Radisson Blu hotel at Victoria Island, Lagos at 6:00pm where all the participants were inducted as NLI Associate Fellows. Guest of honour at the colorful induction ceremony was the USAID Nigeria Office, Deputy Mission Director, Ms Julie Koenen.