As part of its 114th anniversary celebrations, King’s College Lagos is set to hold its annual Kingsweek program this week.

Olumide Akpata, Chairman of the Kingsweek 2023 Planning Committee and a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), spoke about the event and related issues in an exclusive interview with TheNation.

This year’s Kingsweek carries the theme “Dismantling the Barriers: Creating a pathway for the emergence of effective leaders in Nigeria.” Akpata explained the theme was informed by the paradox of many competent Nigerians being locked out of political leadership while unfit people run the country. The deliberations aim to proffer solutions to this endemic problem holding back the nation.

According to Akpata, the outcomes will shape education policies to groom future-ready leaders adept at thriving in a complex world. He stressed that today’s leaders need skills to handle global challenges like the ongoing 4th industrial revolution.

On youth leadership, Akpata identified a mutual lack of faith between young and old as the biggest obstacle. He commended King’s College Old Boys Association (KCOBA) for leading by example through its inter-generational transition of power. He urged Nigeria to learn from KCOBA and deliberately prepare youth for leadership.

Over the past 15 years, Kingsweek has mobilized old boys to contribute over N3 billion towards improving the school’s infrastructure, Akpata revealed. However, more interventions are needed to augment the decaying facilities hampering King’s College from achieving its mission of training leaders.

Akpata recommended transparent, merit-based affirmative action as the solution to corruption and godfatherism in leadership. He argued zoning must never compromise merit. The public and private sectors must collaborate to institutionalize processes that steadily produce quality leaders across generations.

In conclusion, Akpata said KCOBA’s priority is to gain ownership or management of King’s College within the next 5 years. The old boys remain committed to upholding the school’s legacy of molding Nigeria’s future leaders.

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