6 Nigerians for UK Houses of Parliament debate on global issues

Six Nigerians have been selected as part of a new generation of leaders to join individuals from 10 other countries for an intensive policy and leadership development programme scheduled  in London.

As part of the Future Leaders agenda, participants will meet inspiring leaders in public policy as well as members of the UK Parliament during an intensive conference entitled; “Fast Forward: Preparing the World to Come’’.

The programme, which holds from October 18 to October 27, will consist of discussions and debates on some of the most pressing global issues.

Representatives from Nigeria, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, United Kingdom and the United States will participate in the debate.

Participants are also expected to be part of a leadership development programme, participate in a series of work sessions aimed at developing their skills to aid public policy-making, as well as generate positive changes in their countries.

Once back in their countries, the programme seeks to keep members in active communication and to continue to take advantage of the opportunity to develop their skills, share their knowledge and experiences with other colleagues around this global network.

At the pitch event to select candidates to represent Nigeria, which held in Abuja on Friday, Louisa Waddingham, the Director Programmes, British Council Nigeria told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the programme was geared toward solving global issues.

“British Council is pleased to offer an exciting opportunity to six young people that will enable them to connect with exceptional individuals from around the globe, who have big ideas and want to change the world through policy making.

“ The six exceptional young leaders who have been selected intend to push for policies that will improve the lives of all Nigerians in gender equality, maternal health, industrialisation, Youth in Enterprise and eradication of malaria.

“Our six winners will join others selected from British Council countries and connect with the UK Houses of Parliament through an immersive conference, learning from today’s decision makers, seeing effective policy making first hand and discussing the most significant global issues facing the next generation globally.”

The six people selected to represent Nigeria in London are Seun Tuyo, Nwamaka Ogbonna, Oladotun Olatunji, Olaoluwa Abagun, Blessing Omakwu, and Hauwa Liman.

The winners said they believed in the strength of policy making was fundamental to the strength of government as a whole and the larger society.

According to Tuyo, through stakeholders’ commitment and buy-ins, he hopes to ensure that all malaria control interventions continue to reach the public in an equitable and consistent manner so as to contribute greatly to the eradication of malaria.

In her remarks, Ogbonna said he was passionate about the structural transformation of African economies, given the development deficit between Africa and the world.

“With adequate buy in from key stakeholders, I plan to revamp the manufacturing industry by making conscious efforts to facilitate collaboration between the public and private sector.

“I also want to ensure that investments are made into developing the capabilities of those implementing the industrial policy in both the public and private sector.’’

Also speaking, Olatunji was of the view that successful policy-making would alleviate poverty and greatly reduce food insecurity.

Oladotun expressed plans to implement a proof-of-concept and influence the Federal and States Governments to implement same or similar models, thereby, creating a ripple effect for smallholder farmers across the nation.

In her remarks, Abagun said she would work hard to achieve Gender Equality in Nigeria with particular focus on education, economic empowerment and political participation by engaging in strong advocacy for a paradigm shift in creating policies that deliver for women and girls.

“It is my hope to create policies that encourage women to inaugurate careers in male-dominated sectors by fostering multi-sectoral/inter-generational partnerships across the private sector, public spaces and civil society because all sectors and generations are critical to policy design and implementation.’’

The Future Leaders programme, the first edition received more than 10,000 applications from the 10 participating countries, with more than 4,000 entries coming from Nigeria.

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