New Nigeria Foundation

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"In September 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo had expressed concern, during a meeting with a delegation from Citizens Energy and Citizens International (CI), led by a former USAID Administrator, President of the National Democratic Institute and President of Citizens International, Mr. Brian Atwood, that international donors were not assisting the government of Nigeria to meet its domestic development obligations in the areas of food security, improved environment, universal education, job creation and poverty reduction.

"The President was informed that official assistance was likely to be delayed until the fulfillment of Nigeria’s commitment to economic reforms and that rising long dormant assistance programmes might take some time.

"Mr. Atwood promised to make efforts to raise funds from voluntary private sector for a special development fund to aid Nigeria. Mr. Atwood said Citizens International would work with the World Bank, United Nations agencies and other international development agencies and send a survey team to Nigeria to identify development projects and develop an “action plan” to assist Nigeria.

"The survey was conducted in November 1999 by a team which comprised some of the world’s leading development professionals. The team was led by Mr. Brian Atwood and included Executive Vice President of CI, Mr. David Shear, who had over 30 years experience in development planning and management in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Mr. Shear’s vast knowledge and experience were put to use in the design of the Foundation’s initial development programme. Also included in the team were representatives of the International Management and Development Group, Monitor Country Competitiveness Group and Pacifico Energy Corporation.

"The survey team had the cooperation of government with the special adviser to the President for Economic Affairs, Chief Philip Asiodu, as the principal coordinator for the exercise... It was decided that the machinery that will provide resources to implement the action plan will be the New Nigeria Foundation (NNF)... The inaugural Board of Directors comprising Dr. Christopher Kolade, Dr. Pascal Dozie, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Mr. Brian Atwood and Dr. Gabriel Soyoye was inducted and the Managing Director, Prof. Obafemi Ajibola was appointed to manage the day-to-day activities of the Foundation." [1]


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  1. History, New Nigeria Foundation, accessed January 18, 2021.
  2. Board, New Nigeria Foundation, accessed January 18, 2021.