How to address Nigeria's leadership deficit – Okorie

By Ugochukwu Favour-Mayor

The president of the Guardians of the Nation International, GOTNI, Mr. Linus Okorie has advocated mentoring and early youth exchange leadership programmes as panacea to address the leadership deficit in the country.

Okorie made the observation on his return from the United States where he was a participant at the International Visitors' Program on Leadership, IVPL. The programme with the theme: “American Youth: Inspiring Leadership & Civic Participation” held from March 11 – 29, 2013, and had participants drawn from 23 countries: Nigeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Ghana, Kuwait, Israel, India amongst others.

According to Okorie, who is a leadership consultant, most of the country's leaders lacked the necessary mentoring and value-based exposure at the international level, therefore were not properly equipped for the challenge of national leadership.

The GOTNI president added that young and aspiring leaders should be properly groomed and offered broad perspective of issues through exchange programmes, which he said would help them learn from the experiences of other climes on governance issues. He said unless there was a re-orientation of values, the leadership issues would remain a major hindrance to the country's development. He reinstated his commitment to continue to inspire and prepare Nigerians towards leadership responsibilities based on sound values of integrity, vision, service, innovation and a great love for country.

The IVPL is a US Department of State's major professional exchange programme that seeks to build mutual understanding between the US and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the US for current and emerging foreign leaders.

As of present it is interesting to note that since the inception till date, over 320 heads of Government, Presidents and Prime Ministers from across the World have benefited from this programme.