The Former Head of State Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (GCFR) recently poured encomium to the National Defence College Nigeria on the occasion of the Public Presentation and Launch of the Book titled, Iconic Soldier and Peacemaker: A biography of General Martin Luther Agwai. The Public Book Presentation took place at the National Defence College Main Auditorium. General Abubakar advised the College to sustain the novel feat of the leadership series publication which will promote values required of leaders.
The Book was culminated from the findings from research efforts embarked upon by the College that there are significant gaps in the fundamentals of leadership. The Commandant National Defence College, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo said, apparently the novel effort of the College to contribute to the society and the world over in closing the intellectual gaps in the leadership space is worthy of commendation. The commandant asserted that the National Defence College board in December 2017 approved the activation of the Strategic Leadership Research Series. He added that the series was conceived to produce biographies, memoirs and monographs to document the experiences of selected serving or retired military and civilian personalities in strategic leadership position with a view to drawing lessons for posterity. The Commandant assured the mammoth crowd that attended the Book Presentation that the College will continue to publish the leadership series by considering another prominent personality that has distinguished him or herself in the society.
The Public Presentation and Launch of the Book titled Iconic soldier and Peacemaker was first in the Leadership series in the College. The occasioned was graced by personalities from all walks of life.
His Excellency Godwin Obaseki, the Executive Governor of Edo State, while delivering a lecture to participants of Course 27 National Defence College said the role of strategic leadership in combating security challenges, are largely derived from the way the society and the government are being organized. He added that the panacea to overcoming basic security challenges is for the government to organize the society properly by providing basic requirements for the citizens, especially the youth.
He emphasized that the topic titled, Strategic Leadership: My Political Experiences was apt as it afforded him the opportunity of sharing with the participants his experiences as a Governor and a political leader in Edo State. The Executive Governor further commended the College and its entire management for deeming it necessary to invite him to share his thoughts on strategic leadership in Nigeria’s political atmosphere in relations to his personal experiences in politics.
He reiterated that he anchored his vision for the development of Edo State on six pillars of institutional reforms, social welfare, infrastructural development, environmental stability, inheritance, culture and economic revolution. He added that there is need for transparency and accountability in government at all levels.
He stated that strategic leader’s performance or measurement of the political experience especially in developing countries such as Nigeria could be very difficult to explain particularly when there was no special template to be used to guide the documentation of such experiences.
Relatively, the Commandant National Defence College, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo said during his remarks that the College is the highest Strategic Military training institution in Nigeria and the Sub-Region. The Commandant also explored the cultural and historical imperatives of the Benin Kingdom in Edo State over the years compared to Libson, capital of Purtugal. He added that there was a reversal of fortunes regarding the Benin Kingdom and Libson. He advised that attention should be paid to tourism and cultural heritage as way of preserving the historical values and significance of Benin Kingdom as well as pursuing its developmental approaches so as to be at par with Libson.
A renowned Nigerian International Businessman, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group Of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote stated that Nigeria as a nation is capable of surmounting its various security challenges through strategic vision oriented leadership. Dangote made the remarks while fielding questions from journalists after delivering a lecture titled; Strategic Leadership: My Business Experiences to participants of Course 27, National Defence College Nigeria.
He further remarked that, ‘’the whole thing about strategic leadership is that one must have a vision, you have to have the resources and the structure to deliver. There is nothing you can deliver without proper structure, so with proper planning we can surmount the challenges. Nothing is too difficult in this life to be sorted out’’. Commenting on the need for bigger companies to assist in bringing up the smaller ones, Dangote explained that his company is participating in commercial rice farming; the outfit teaches individuals appropriate way of farming and marketing of their farm products. In addition, he disclosed that they provide the individual farmers with seedlings. “The bigger companies have roles to play in bringing up the smaller ones”, he added.
Dangote granting interview after his lectures
While delivering the lecture, he observed that strategic leadership is very relevant in every aspect of life not just in business management and governance. Dangote further observed that great ideas and potentials are bound in Africa but lack proper implementation. However, he revealed that epileptic power supply and inconsistency in government were also impediments to management of manufacturing companies in Africa. ‘’It is only in Ethiopia and South Africa that we completely rely on their national electric power supply to power our manufacturing companies’’, Dangote revealed.
He further explained that Dangote Group of Companies had successfully grown into conglomerate through diversification in its products. He then hailed the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari for signing an Executive Order on road construction by indigenous and foreign companies operating in Nigeria. ‘’If there is no appropriate road network how can we be able to get our end products to the markets?’’, he asked.
Relatively, the Commandant of the College, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo expressed his appreciation to the renowned business man for finding time to be in the College. He asserted that all those who were present at the venue of the lecture actually learnt more than enough to enable them survive in the Course as well as in their respective endeavours. However, he disclosed that from the various researches conducted by the College most of the nation’s security challenges were linked to mismanagement of the youth population.