It has become a consensus that absence of quality leadership is one of the major problems militating against the rapid development of Nigeria. A nation that got independence over 52 years ago, Nigeria has been left behind by many of its contemporaries like Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Brazil among others that were head to head with her at independence.

The citizenship and Leadership Training Centre (CLTC) is an agency under the Federal Ministry of Youth Development. The Centre is saddled with the mandate to provide Citizenship and Leadership Training to Nigerians as well as to manage the Man O? War Organisation.

Mr. Michel Fawole has been the Acting Director General of the Centre for close to tow years now. A former Director in charge of Trainings in the same organisation, Fawole said his vision for the Centre is to enhance quality of trainings given by the agency especially in the areas of leadership skills acquisition, citizenship, accountability and patriotism.

The Centre under his leadership is currently training student leaders and secondary school prefects from various schools across the country. The aim he said is to expose the students to such leadership attributes and knowledge that would assist them in their current challenges as well as prepare them for future responsibilities. He also spoke on other issues of affecting the organisation and called on Nigerians to join hands with President Goodluck in his drive to reposition the country.

VISION AND MISSION OF THE CENTRE

The vision of the Centre is to be a world class provider of quality training that would empower the individual for good citizenship and responsible leadership. The mission of the Centre include provision of training for the development of citizenship and leadership for public benefit; Enhancing and expanding individual awareness; Inculcating in the individual qualities of self- discipline, self reliance and selfless service; Seeking to engineer a general reorientation of values as well as Developing national consciousness and fostering international understanding.

Being the only institution in the country that executes experimental and outward bound education, CLTC provides citizenship and leadership training in atmosphere in which self- discovery and self- actualisation are based on each individual?s competence and ability irrespective of origin, belief and class. Its programmes are planned to reflect character development; adventure and challenges; service and compassion as well as social and environmental responsibilities.

TRADITIONAL BENEFICIARIES OF CLTC TRAININGS

Over the years, our Centre has provided practical trainings that positively reshapes the character and orientation of individual beneficiaries thereby improving the quality of their performances at home, work and society at large. Some of the organisations that have been participating in the various training programmes of the Centre include the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police, State House Annex, Nigeria Prison Service, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Defence Intelligence School, State Security Service, NDLEA, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Road Safety Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Women Affairs, Local Government Councils of various states, Federal Government Colleges across the country, government and private schools as well as youth groups. The Centre equally carries out trainings for state governments and institutions that requested for specific knowledge or skill acquisition.?

600 FORMER MILITANTS TRAINED BY THE CENTRE

The River State Social Rehabilitation Committee last year sent over 600 youths from the state most of who are former militants or agitators for a 30- day debriefing and training programme aimed and re-orientating and reforming their inner beliefs, character content and behavioural pattern as part of efforts of the government to prepare them for a return to normal life.

Speaking after the first training which took place at Awgu Enugu State Unit of the Centre, the Acting Director General of CLTC Mr. Michael Fawole said the training was meant to disabuse the minds of the participants from every act and belief that have to do with violence, killing and destruction as well as to inculcate in them a new spirit of discipline, respect for constituted authorities, love for the nation and its people, and value for human lives among others.

?Our training emphasizes exposure to challenging activities which help to divert the youth?s outburst into situation which helps him discover more about himself and those around him. The exciting activities packaged in the programme provide joy after hardship, builds self discovery and leadership through experience, teaches skills by gradual but progressive learning; and establishes confidence in oneself and in others,? Fawole said.

According to him, the ultimate result in all the activities lined up by the Centre for participants is for them to ?become a little more purposeful and effective, a little more conscious of the innate potentials embedded in them and how best to channel such natural talents for the betterment of their immediate communities so that the entire society can actually move forward,.?

UPSURGE OF SECONDARY AND TERTIARY INSTUTIONS

Some secondary schools, universities and polytechnics have in the past sent their students to the Centre for on- the target trainings. The success of these efforts may have resulted in the upsurge of the number of students that are now being sent from various schools to the Centre. In response to the high demand, the Centre has designed three special course regimes specifically for students. The courses include Prefect Leadership Course; Intermediate Leadership Training and the Citizenship and Leadership Education. While other students can participate in the other categories, the Prefect Leadership Course is designed for students who hold leadership positions in their schools.

The purpose of these courses is to expose these young people to that kind of training that will prepare them for the future and also make them more patriotic to the state and the nation. This is achieved through a radical transformation in their perception, attitude, character and abilities. The outcome would obviously reflect in everything they do at home and at school. The success of the programme can be seen by the huge number of government and individual schools that are sending their prefects and students to the Centre for training in recent time.

For the month of August this year alone, the Centre conducted several trainings on leadership and other areas. At the Mountain School, Shere Hill Jos facility, the Centre conducted Intermediate Leadership Training for Federal Government Colleges from the North Central Zone as well as Citizenship and Leadership Education for Federal College of Education Panshin Jos. At the Sea School Snake Island Apapa Lagos, they undertook Prefect Leadership Course for St. Francis College, Kin and Kith College, Federal Government College, Air Force Secondary School and King International College, all in Lagos. Sea School Apapa also had Junior Leadership Course for Healing Cross Ministry Idiaraba Lagos, Senior Mixed Leadership Course for Man O War Annex Office Law School Lagos, and Intermediate Training for Holy Child College, Landmark College, Our Lady of Apostle Secondary School, Redeemer High School and Secret Heart College Lagos.

Others include Desert School Fika Yobe State where Prefect Leadership Course for Federal Government Colleges from North East and Citizenship and Leadership Education Course for Federal Government Girls College Potiskum took place. At the Hilltop School Awgu Enugu State, the Centre had Citizenship and Leadership Education Course for Nwafor Orizu College of Education Nsugbe, Man O War Club University of Uyo, Kogi State College of Education Ankpa, Man O War Imo State and the Federal Collge of Education Obudu Cross River State as well as Prefect Leadership Course for prefects of Unity Schools in the South East.

At the Forest School in Port Harcourt, Leadership Training Course was conducted for Federal Government Colleges in the South -South while the Women Unit at Jeremi Delta State conducted Prefect Leadership Course for Unity Schools in the South South, for Prefects from Federal Government Colleges in the South West and the Citizenship and Leadership Training Course for Rhema Youth Association. A total of 112 students also participated in other Prefect Courses conducted for Federal Government Girls College Umuahia, Federal Government College Ikom Cross River State and Federal Government College Ikot Ekpene Akwa Ibom State.

In addition to these, a total of 112 students participated in other Prefect Courses conducted for Federal Government Girls College Umuahia, Federal Government College Ikom Cross River State and Federal Government College Ikot Ekpene Akwa Ibom State.

FAWOLE?S IMPRESSION

Speaking on the gains of the trainings being conducted for young people in secondary and tertiary schools, the Acting Director General of the Centre Mr. Michael Fawole said the Centre did not place special emphasis on any category of their trainings adding however that the impact of the Prefect Leadership Course and other student related courses may have been responsible for the high number of schools being attracted to them.

?For us, we have not laid special emphasis on any segment of the society. As a training institution, we train any category of persons that are brought to us. If the society considers it necessary to lay emphasis on training of their youths and bring them to us, we train them. The Police, the Military and other paramilitary agencies also come at their own time and we train them equally.

?I think it is because the society considers it necessary today to expose the youth to that kind of training that will prepare them for the future and also make them more patriotic to the nation. That may why we are having many organisations bringing young people to us to train now. But as an institution, our duty is to train no matter the categories of people that are brought to us,? Fawole said.

According to him, the benefits of the Centre?s training are enormous and are better felt by the beneficiaries as well as those around them at home, schools and work places. ?It is only when you find those who have passed through our trainings on their duty posts that you know that they are reflecting what they have learnt from the Centre. Our trainings are planned in a manner that they change peoples? attitude, character and even ability. They are meant to improve on what you are prior to the training. The outcome is supposed to reflect wherever you are, at home, your work place and in schools in the case of students. It is only when you go to the places where these people work and their homes that you discover that the trainings have had some influence on them.

?We have discovered that secondary school prefects and students that come to us, when they go back home, they are totally changed. At school their attitude and output do change; the same with the Police, the Military and other agencies. When the Police send their cadets to us, they have discovered that they perform better on their duties. And I think that explains why all of these organisations and now including schools continue to come back,? he concluded.

BENEFITTING STUDENTS TESTIFY

For the students who benefited from the trainings, every citizen should be made to undergo such trainings in order to raise leaders that would help the transformation process going on in the country. Okorie Hope and Phillip Faith Omasirichi both of Federal Government Girls College Umuahia share this view. ?My impression is that this organisation is a place where everyone needs to be in order to learn some certain things in life which could not be learnt within the four walls of our schools,? Hope said.

Omasirichi also declared the training as a life- long experience ?I have gained so many things from this course. I have learnt time management, self- discipline, endurance, self- control, team work and the need for unity of purpose. I have also gotten the boldness, inspiration and authority to carry out my work as a leader. Even spiritually, I have also gained many things that would help me in life. I must really say that I will never regret coming for this course.? ?

The same impression shapes the views of Angioma Fidelis Justin of Federal Government College Ikot Ekpene who said, ?I am so impressed with the organisation and the trainings they offer. It is a blessing to our generation. The staff members are wonderful and they don?t take sides. The running of the courses is excellent and surely, it has imparted discipline to those of us that attended.? ?

HISTORY OF THE CENTRE
The Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre is one of the few surviving national institutions established in pre- independence days Nigeria, the Centre was founded in 1951 as Man O? War Training Centre (at Man O? War Bay Southern Cameroon) by the British Government. It was modelled after the Outward Bound Centre in the Aberdovey (UK) and provided training for personnel officers mainly within the West African sub-region and as required by the Home Government (British Empire) to service the various governments and institutions within the countries colonised by the British. At independence, the then Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa christened it Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre with statutory powers given to it by an Act of Parliament published in the Extra Ordinary Gazette No. 45 Volume 47 of August 1960 which has been updated by Decree No. 18 of December 1989.??

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