The Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr Femi Gbajabiamila says Nigeria is in need of leaders that will groom the young ones to take over leadership responsibilities from them as they leave office or move to other spheres of life.
The speaker made the remark l at the graduation ceremony of the first 74 trainees of the Legislative Mentorship Initiative (LMI) held at the National Assembly.
He noted that the absence of such a transition in leadership remained a setback for the country’s growth.
Mr Gbajabiamila, stated that there is the urgency to correct the anomaly so that the country could have a pool of young leaders to draw from at any given time.
“That is why we introduced the LMI, a robust programme to equip our young ones for the leadership tasks ahead, for governance and for the good of the our country”, Gbajabiamila stated.
The Speaker observed that the timing of the training was significant, coming at a period the world faced increasing challenges that would require people of great skills and knowledge to address, especially from among the youth.
The Director of LMI, Mr Dapo Oyewole said the aim was to equipped young Nigerians with responsive leadership skills, knowledge and expertise to enhance public service delivery and foster national cohesion.
“As you graduate and go back you your respective states newly christened as LMI fellows today, you should do so knowing that you have a critical role to play in shaping the future of our country, and perhaps our world.
The chairman house committee on Legislative agenda Mr Henry Nwawuba, explained that four thousand youths applied, out of which 74 from the 36 states and the FCT emerged and made it to graduation.
According to the lawmaker, the programme is the first of its kind in the House of Representatives saying that efforts will be made to institutionalize it.
Director-General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS),Prof. Abubakar Sulieman, noted that a new phase had began for the trainees as ambassadors of the legislature which is contributing to sustaining democracy.
One of the graduates, Mr Bella Victor, from Rivers State, who was elated over the knowledge he gained, admitted that the programme exposed him to things he didn’t know about the legislature and governance before he enrolled for the LMI.