Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, will, on Thursday, September 8, deliver the 2022 edition of TheNiche Annual Lecture.
The lecture, an annual intellectual fiesta, which is aimed at proffering solutions to some of Nigeria’s most daunting problems is organized by TheNiche newspapers, an online media platform.
The lecture will hold at the Agip Recital Hall of the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Centre, Onikan, Lagos.
Fashola, former Governor of Lagos State and a learned silk, will speak on the theme, “2023 elections and the future of Nigeria’s democracy” while Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, veteran First Republic politician, human rights activist, former Liaison Officer to late President Shehu Shagari and founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), will chair the event.
Many high profile political and business leaders, including Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, as well as leading presidential candidates in the 2023 elections are expected to grace the occasion.
A statement by Ikechukwu Amaechi, Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of TheNiche, said this year’s lecture which holds exactly two weeks from the flag off of the campaigns for the 2023 elections was timed to sensitise Nigerians on the issues that should inform the leadership recruitment exercise next year.
Amaechi, who said the “choice of both the lecturer and chairman was a product of painstaking deliberations,” also emphasised that, “beside the two tested democracy giants, a panel of five discussants drawn from the academia, media, civil society, political class and the INEC will interrogate Fashola’s lecture in real time.”
The panelists include, Prof. Victor Chukwuma, Fellow, Astronomical Society of Nigeria and the Nigerian Institute of Physics, and Mr. Martins Oloja, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian newspaper.
Others are Dr. Dakuku Peterside, former Director-General NIMASA; Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director ActionAid Nigeria, Convener Situation Room, and Mr. Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.
The discussions would be moderated by erudite scholar, Mr. Anthony Kila, experienced lecturer and public speaker, Jean Monnet professor of Strategy and Development, Director at the Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies (CIAPS).
This year’s lecture will be the third in the series which started in 2018 with Prof. Kingsley Moghalu speaking on “Development reporting and hysteria journalism in Nigeria,” and 2019 when Nigeria’s foremost interdisciplinary scholar, Prof. Anya O. Anya, a leading light of the intellectual community, statesman, scientist and boardroom guru, professor of Biology who is distinguished for his work in parasitology, Nigerian National Medal of Merit awardee, spoke on “Business and accountable governance: The obligations of leadership.”
The lectures could not hold in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gathering.
Amaechi said Fashola had, beforehand, assured that this year’s lecture will be a rich intellectual harvest.