From Two to 1000+: Nigerian-based Think Tank Spreading Gospel of Economic Freedom to Locals
by Miracle Ubah
In mid-December 2021, Face of Liberty International, a Nigerian-based think tank, flagged off a Free Market Project Tour by hosting a Free Market Summit in Lagos, Nigeria. But despite the publicity, the event ended with just 10 participants, eight of whom were invited speakers.
“It was a devastating experience,” recounted Mr. Leonard Ogunweide, the founder and the Chief Executive Officer of the Face of Liberty International, “especially when you had made provisions for 50 participants.”
But that could not stop the revving engine of the Tour’s train. Mr. Ogunweide proceeded with the project and hosted the second edition of the programme in Kogi State. And it was a resounding success with 43 participants.
“We understand that the journey to a thousand impacts begins with the first act of kindness. For us, it is all about getting started,” Mr Ogunweide said.
After the event, one of the participants, Damian (it would be to include the last name too), revealed the programme was an eye-opener for her and others with no knowledge about free market and economic freedom.
“I have little to no understanding of what the free market principle and economic freedom entails before coming for this event. I am going back home fully loaded and ready to become an advocate of the principle,” she said while commenting on the event.
Moving from two participants at the first Summit in Lagos to 43 in the second event held in Kogi state, Mr. Ogunweide said the experience was encouraging to continue pushing against all odds.
“The feedback from the participants measured our impacts and that is the reason we cannot stop, no matter the challenges or setbacks we encountered.”
After the Kogi Summit in January 2022, FLI has hosted the Free Market Summits in 9 states in Northern and Southern Nigeria.