PreambleOn Wednesday 6th August 2014, the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and the Erelu Abiola Foundation (ERAF) orgainsed a one day Seminar, on National Enterprises Dialogue. The Seminar, which was held at the NIIA Louis Mbanefo tunda, was chaired by Professor Walter Ofonagoro, and had in attendance Professor Bola A. Akinterinwa, DG, NIIA, HRH Abiola Dosunmu, Founder (ERAF) and HRH Oba Dokun Thompson, the Oba of Eti Oni. The Seminar was also well attended by participants including retired Ambassadors, retired military officers, members of the academia, as well as the Research Fellows and Staff of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs and the representatives of the media.
The significance of the seminar derives from the fact that 6th August 2014 marked 153 years since the annexation of Lagos and its subsequent declaration as a Crown Colony. The programme, which commenced with an opening prayer led by Ms Agatha Udeh, was followed by the opening remarks made by Professor Bola A. Akinterinwa, DG of NIIA. In his opening remarks, the Director General of the NIIA noted that ERAF has been in the forefront of promoting national unity, sharing ideas to reflect and bring out the truth. The founder of ERAF, HRH Abiola Dosunmu, gave the welcome address. She observed that ERAF was created to tackle fundamental issues bordering on Nigeria’s historical development, which are often times overlooked. While thanking participants for supporting the ERAF foundation, she noted that the l seminar is primarily an agenda setting dialogue, as one of the Oba Dosunmu lecture series. The seminar also sought to find a new compass for Nigeria’s unity, security growth and development. In his keynote address, HRH Oba Dokun Thompson, Oba of Eti Oni pointed out the enterprise dialogue is well timed because of the on-going national conference dialogue. He also noted that 2014 year marked the centenary of the amalgamation of the North and the South regions of Nigeria. Thus, the seminar marked 153rd anniversary of corporate Nigeria, with the signing of Lagos Peace Treaty by Oba Dosunmu on August 6, 1861.