Non-Profit Organisations in Nigeria have been charged to embrace corporate governance as a panacea for sustainability.
The Country Director of Enactus Nigeria, Michael Ajayi, said this at the second NPO conference organised by Women Economic Leadership Transformation Initiative in Lagos.
Enactus Nigeria is a global NPO dedicated to enabling human progress by providing undergraduates with the training and linkages they need to become innovative.
Speaking at the conference themed ‘The Sustainability of Non-profits’, Ajayi said aside that corporate governance could unlock opportunities to access certain funds; it would also ensure sustainability and separate the Chief Executive Officer from the organisation.
He traced the challenges with many Non- Governmental Organisations to the emotional attachments of the CEOs to their organisations, noting that corporate governance would separate the individual from the organisation.
The leadership and entrepreneurship trainer bemoaned the worsening unemployment situation in Nigeria, describing it as a time bomb.
According to him, with 13m out-of-school children and 20 per cent of the Nigerian youth population either unemployed or underemployed, the future can only be bleak.
He, however, called for deliberate efforts to invest in the future of the country through young people.
“In no time, we will have 20m people who should be gainfully employed that are not, and what you have is a situation where there would be a revolt. So, we must make deliberate efforts to invest in the future of the country by investing in young people.
“The youth of a nation is its nucleus. It is the only lifeline. Unless we make deliberate efforts, or take deliberate steps now to train them, develop their capacity and prepare them for the future, then we are indeed sitting on a time bomb,” he said.
The Executive Director, Women Economic and Leadership Transformation Initiative, Ifeoma Okonji, urged non-profits to explore opportunities around them for sustainable development and collaborate to yield the needed social impact.
Her words, “This year’s theme ‘The Sustainability of Non-profits’ covers a range of what we do as non-profits. It is, therefore, a time to explore opportunities we have around us for sustainable development and collaborate to create the much-needed social impact.
“It is certain that we all as organisations have our strengths and attributes as well as weaknesses in some areas, this is the time we need to collectively decide to partner to accomplish even more.”