Sanwo-Olu Tasks Lateef Jakande Academy Cohorts on Good Leadership

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at an interactive session on Wednesday, met with the first set of finalists identified for the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy.

The academy, which officially commences in January 2023, is a leadership and mentorship programme of the state government with the vision to develop tomorrow’s leaders today for public service and governance in Africa.

The Lagos State Governor was accompanied by the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pension, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle; the Commissioner of Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo and the newly appointed Executive Secretary, Ms Folasade Coker, who will be responsible for overseeing the academy.

During the very engaging interactive session, the Governor discussed with the finalists to get more insight into their professional journey and some of the reasons why they decided to participate in the program.

The academy received over 3,000 applications; however, after a thorough selection process in line with global best practices, only 36 emerged as finalists to be considered for the 30 fellowship positions available. The screening process included a computer-based test and a full-day assessment centre which included various exercises such as simulation role plays, competency-based interviews and presentations based on a case study developed and customised for Lagos State.

The academy was initiated to equip the fellows with the requisite skills to influence the public service and instil the ethics and values of purposeful leadership not only through direct leadership coaching, mentoring and on-the-job experience but a customised public leadership training programme developed in conjunction with Lagos Business School, Oxford University and other notable leadership experts in the country.

The one-year non-partisan and meritocratic fellowship will offer first-hand experience in the process of governance. Fellows will be assigned to and mentored by the Executive Cabinet members and other notable private and public sector leaders.

In her comments, the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle, said; “I would like to congratulate the candidates for making it to the final stage; it has been a very intense assessment process.  I assure all of you that this programme promises to be extremely transformational.  The fellows will get the opportunity to participate in discussions with renowned leaders from both the public and private sectors and learn more about public administration at all levels of governance during their domestic and international policy trips.”

Speaking at the interactive session, Mr Sanwo-Olu said: “This project is part of my donation and legacy to give back, not just to Lagos, but the entire country. Nation-building is top of our agenda, it is not about how you lead or are a leader; it’s also about how many future leaders you develop to help continue to build that Nation. Our aim is to create more leaders and I am extremely pleased with the diversity of the finalists that have been shortlisted.

“We searched for the best in class in order to develop the next generation of leaders, and with my interaction with the finalists today, I am excited about what the future holds. We have found potential youthful Nigerians, and I am confident they will become great leaders that will create more opportunities and change the nation. We will provide them with the platform that will allow them to gain exposure to drive purposeful leadership that will impact our Nation!”

The fellowship was named after the late Lateef Jakande based on the impact he made in Lagos State, one of which is the education sector. Lagos State established the academy as an institution that will sustain and project his core values and legacy.

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