By Henry Uche

As Nigerians grapple with economic distress and social unrest, business experts have called on established personnel in different disciplines to take up the task of mentoring young corporate directors and others to grow the Nigerian economy.

At the launch of Young Directors Forum (YDF) by the Institute Of Directors (IOD) in Lagos, the Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Ltd, Alake Olakunle, said a progressive organisation is a function of Effective board and competent management which unavoidably affect the country’s economy.

He charged corporate leaders to conscientiously groom personnel who will become world-class leaders both in the public and private sector. ‘We need to nurture young people to take leadership responsibilities and not for destruction if this country must progress,’ he said.

He added that breeding and grooming young people in leadership Capacity and development for the challenges ahead is a taxing task, howbeit it’s an unavoidable role distinguished leaders from both sectors must embark on if Nigeria must restore its lost former enviable glory in the comity of nations.

On his part, the President of IOD, Chris Okunowo, F. IoD, reaffirmed the institute’s decision to train Young Directors of in the small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment of the economy whose economic potentialities definitely affects the country in the long run.

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Okunowo maintained that building Capacity and preparing millennial business leaders with the requisite skills and Character will have a direct impact in the country at Large hence most political leaders were once business leaders. ‘It’s important we build human capacity – those who will take up leadership roles in either sector because of the Leadership deficit bedevilling the country. So, we need to first address the governance skill gaps in the SMEs space, as well as among young business professionals and the millennial business leaders as they advance in their careers to hold future positions either in the private or public sector.’

He reiterated IoD’s commitment to consistently lead corporate governance advocacy, promoting innovative policies aimed at ensuring private sector-led economic growth through sound corporate governance practice and to work closely with government, corporate organisations, bilateral chambers and diplomatic missions to raise the standards of governance and corporate leadership in the private and public sectors of Nigeria.

‘The Institute sees the need to build the capacity of the sector’s (SMEs) teeming young directors, to enable them to deliver more effectively on their roles and responsibilities. This we must consistently do not for themselves or their respective organisations but for Nigeria at Large,’ he affirmed.

Meanwhile, the founder/CEO, House of Tara In’t, Tara Durotoye, who delivered the keynote address on the Theme, “Building Millennial Business Leaders”, spoke in line with other speakers that human capacity development should be the top priority of both corporate organisations and the government at all levels.

Durotoye opined that training, investment in research and development as well as effective actions in the art of management and administrative principles remains indispensable for corporate growth. ‘We must invest in our personnel for growth and development. The people we train today will definitely become great leaders tomorrow somewhere either in the public or private sector. So we must learn to inculcate proper management and administrative skills in the people through effective communication and make them feel a sense of belonging. We must not limit our vision within our organisation, the opportunity to grow is unlimited,’ she added.