NLI Annual Awards

The NLI Annual Awards is established to recognise and celebrate Nigerian citizens who have made outstanding contributions to the transformative change necessary for the development of Nigeria. By giving these awards, NLI seeks to promote values and serve as a reminder to the younger generation of the rewards that come with inculcating good values and contributing to the development of the Nation.

The 3 categories of awards are:

  • NLI Lifetime Achievement Award

This Award was given to Mrs. Jean Elsie Obi for her outstanding contribution in co-founding the Braille Association of Nigeria.

Profile of Mrs. Jean Obi

In August 1960, on completion of her studies, she successfully applied for a job as an Education Officer in the Eastern Region of Nigeria and took up a post at Queen’s School, Enugu. She then moved to Lagos after marriage where she taught briefly at the Methodist Boys’ High School in Lagos before taking up an appointment in 1963 in the Test Development Unit of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). While with WAEC in 1974, Mrs. Obi was asked to review the results of 3 blind candidates. This was her “Accidental introduction to Braille”.

In 1979, the Nigerwives Association was set up to provide a meeting point for foreign wives of Nigerians, resident in Nigeria. It was set up to provide support for members to adjust to the cultural and family structure. Mrs. Obi is a Trustee of the Association till date. In 1995 the Nigerwives Association pioneered the computer production of brailled books in Nigeria. The mission of the Nigerwives Braille Book Production Centre is to provide educational services that will enable blind persons to achieve their optimum educationally and attain an independent livelihood as adults, contributing to the communities in which they live and work.

The National Braille Council of Nigeria (NABRACON), now Braille Association of Nigeria) was founded by Mrs. Obi and Mr. Danlami Basharu (a blind lawyer) in 1991. The organization was set up to create a bring together end-users, teachers and producers of Braille and to create a positive impact on the teaching and learning of Braille in Nigeria.Mrs. Obi also assisted in the setting up of Anglo-Nigeria Welfare Association for the Blind (ANWAB), a similar body whose emphasis was on building and rehabilitation of a Braille library. She saw this as an avenue to work together and not in competition. She was the Chairperson of ANWAB for over a decade and is still a trustee and member of the Management Committee.

She recommended and assisted in the setting up of an in-house Braille production facility at WAEC and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). She has also worked with Lagos State Ministry of Education, King’s College, Lagos Law School and Crescent School and FGC, Ijanikin in providing Brailled question papers for their blind students. Other partnerships with the Nigerwives Association include The Braille Institute Press, US and The Soroptimist Eko International group.

Together with the Soroptimist group, Mrs. Obi set up the UNILAG Resource Centre for the blind. Mrs. Obi is a Member of the British Empire, Member of the Federal Republic and, IWS Humanitarian of the year, to mention a few.

Mrs. Jean Elsie Obi was born in Kingston, England in November, 1935. She is a Mathematics graduate from the Hull University, UK and holds a Diploma in Education from same University, in 1960.<

  • NLI Award for Honesty and Integrity

The Award was given to Mr. Soji Apampa for his demonstration of honesty and integrity in the business sphere.

Profile of Mr. Soji Apampa

Mr. Apampa is the co-founder of the Integrity Organisation (1995). His involvement with Integrity designing, resourcing and supervising programme implementation has helped to make the strategy of “empowering people, their transactions, systems and institutions against corruption” relevant to Nigeria. At Integrity, he was one of the initiators of the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi), a project launched in Lagos in 1997 to promote ethical business practices, transparency, and fair competition in both the private and the public sectors. Today CBi is the representative and local implementation partner for Business Action Against Corruption (BAAC), which was inspired by the G8 Africa Commission’s Business Action for Africa as well as the Business Innovation

Facility helping business to leverage core business activities for greater social impact. His working experience covers training, research, consulting and management in the private and public sectors, and civil society. He is a shareholder and director at Prominent Securities Ltd (A stockbroking firm in Lagos) and founder of RTA Intelligence Ltd. focusing on realtime technical architectures for business intelligence.

As a former Managing Director at SAP Nigeria Ltd, he is both articulate and persuasive. At SAP, Mr. Apampa championed the concept of ‘ICT supported public sector reforms’ which resulted in a €400,000 pilot project being implemented at the Ministry of Finance, Kigali, Rwanda with the Government of the Rhineland Palatinate acting as official sponsors of the project. Through his direct efforts, SAP Africa won an award for their role in the take off of the Information Society Partnership for Africa’s Development (ISPAD) an initiative of the NEPAD e-Africa Commission. Working in concert with a number of his colleagues in Walldorf, they succeeded in persuading the German Government to make an offer of Technical Assistance and ICTs to the EITI process of several countries, through the Gtz.

Mr. Apampa is well known to various development agencies in Nigeria and was the teamleader (international consultant) in 2006 for the World Bank on the review of the Abacha loot repatriated from Switzerland. In 2010, he supported the IATT in defining a process to kick off the development of a National Strategy to Combat Corruption. He has worked on very high profile, sensitive assignments for many years and is the author of several research reports on different aspects of governance. He was a consultant to the Governance and Institutions Policy Commission of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group. For the last 15 years he has designed and implemented anti-corruption initiatives in Africa. Mr. Apampa was appointed in May 2008 to the International Working Group of the UN Global Compact on the 10th Principle (anti-corruption). He was on the editorial board of the 2009 TI Global Corruption Report and was member of the Organizing Committee of the 12th International Anti-Corruption Conference which took place in Guatemala City, Guatemala. A 2008 Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa (of the Aspen Institute, Aspen, Colorado), Mr. Apampa was named Kuramo Advocate in 2011 on the Return of Stolen Wealth by the Kuramo Foundation. He is a leader of thought on the subject of ‘change and institutions’ and from day to day he continues to provide detailed political economy analyses, governance reviews and research for various development initiatives around the world.

“Soji,” as he prefers to be called, graduated with a B.Eng (Hons) in Civil & Structural Engineering (1987) from the University of Sheffield, UK and an MSc. in Governance & Finance in 2008 from the Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

  • NLI Award for Values-based leadership

This Award went to Mr. Otto Orondaam for displaying commitment, sacrifice, patriotism, in founding the Slum 2 School project.

Profile of Mr. Otto Orondaam 

Mr. Orondaam’s passion to improve the state of his country and continent made him volunteer and work with several non-profit organizations and International Development Agencies in Nigeria and within African countries since the age of 16, where he assisted in building structures for the implementation developmental projects.

With knowledge of statistics that Nigeria has about the highest the rate of out-of-school children globally, Mr. Orondaam founded Slum 2 School Africa in 2012 during his National Youth Service as an intervention to improve access and quality of education for disadvantaged children in slums and remote communities.

Since inception Otto has worked with over 1000 young volunteers from over 10 countries to provide scholarships for over 600 children from slums like Makoko, Songunro, Okuabo, Emina and Aiyetoru communities in Lagos state and several thousands have benefited from several other health and psycho-social support programs in these communities. Campaigns also started to renovate dilapidated school in remote communities and equip slum schools with more facilities like computer room, library, and health center. A renovation of a dilapidated school is also ongoing in Emina community in Epe.

He believes that Slum2School Africa will keep on expanding to support thousands of disadvantaged children in Nigeria and Africa and this can only be achieved with collaboration from good willing individuals, private sector and the general public.

Otto Orondaam’s contributions to the social sector has fetched several recognitions like the Lagos state Honors Award as most outstanding corps member in 2012, Nigerian CSR Awards, the Future Awards for innovation in education. Slum2School Africa also won the 2012 Sustainable Solutions Showcase at the African CEO’s Roundtable and Otto was recently awarded a one year scholarship by the African Social Space to study Social Entrepreneurship/ Social Sector Management at the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London.

Otto Orondaam was born on 08 August 1987 and has a bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the University of Port Harcourt. He also holds an Executive Masters in Project Management from CUPE UK and certificate in Social Change, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship from the United Nations University for Peace, Costa Rica.