Founder and Chairman, Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG), Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, and former Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, have called for youth participation in the transformation of the public sector.
The duo, at the public lecture organised by AIG, emphasised on the importance of youth participation in transforming the sector.
Speaking on “Transforming the Public Sector in Nigeria: Reflections from My Leadership of the FIRS,” Omoigui-Okauru said:
“Leading reform or, indeed, any other organisational activity is a team sport. The strength of the institution is in the strength of the team – past, present and future.”
Aig-Imoukhuede agreed with the former FIRS boss, when he admitted that the strength of the FIRS team is apparent, even 10 years after her departure.
The AIG founder explained that the hope and future of the nation lies in the contributions of young people and those who are truly committed to Nigeria’s development.
He said, “The situation is urgent, we will further expand our scholarships and fellowships and intensify our investments to build a critical mass of capable leaders who can move our nation forward.
“Nigeria’s transformation lies in the hands of its youth, who will go on to lead the public and private sectors, and no stone must be left unturned, as we invest in them and build their capacity to rebuild and lead a great nation.”
According to him, the 2019/20 AIG Fellowship was awarded to Omoigui-Okauru in recognition of her outstanding contributions to public service, as the Executive Chairman of Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
“She spearheaded comprehensive tax reforms, culminating in the development of Nigeria’s first national tax policy, the modification of tax legislation and a remarkable improvement in the effectiveness of tax collection. Her achievements remain a reference point almost a decade after her tenure in office,” he added.
He explained that AIG grieved with the nation over the loss of life and property, following recent days of social unrest.
“We must use this momentary period of darkness as impetus to usher in a new dawn of enlightenment and progress. This is the time to envision what we want our nation to be and to move forward by building and empowering Nigeria’s next generation of leaders,” he said.
What you should know
The AIG scholarship programme awards five scholarships annually to promising future leaders to undertake a Master’s degree in Public Policy (MPP) at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government.
This September, undeterred by COVID-19 challenges, it embarked on the national selection process to identify the 2021/22 AIG scholars for Nigeria and Ghana.
The founder said, “Recent events in Nigeria have threatened completion of the scholar selection exercise. We however regard these scholarships as being more important now than ever and will marshal whatever resources are required to complete the exercise in time to meet the closure date for BSG’s MPP application window. Shortlisted candidates will be required to follow stringent health and safety protocols.”