It provided training for personnel officers mostly from 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 colonized by Britain.
The need to formulate a new sense of direction and approach to human development led to the establishment of training in citizenship and leadership ideals. To meet up with the new idea the Nigeria government organized experimental courses for young and newly employed administrative officers and social workers between the month of March and May 1957 at Awgu in the eastern part of the country (now in the present Enugu State).The result of this experiment was fruitful.
By 1960, after running series of courses at the Man O’ War Bay, the Centre was moved to Kurra Falls in the Plateau province (now Plateau State) when the Southern Cameroon through the United Nations organized plebiscite seceded from Nigeria.
At Nigeria’s independence, the then Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa christened it “CITIZENSHIP AND LEADERSHIP TRAINING CENTRE”. The Centre’s existence as a structure in government was given a statutory recognition in 1960 by an Act of Parliament published in the Extra – Ordinary Gazette No 45 Volume 47 of August 10, 1960. The Act has been updated by Decree No 38 of December 1989.
At its inception, programs where ran from a base on the foot of the Cameroon Mountains in Southern Cameroon. Later the training was moved to a location in Kura Falls, Nigeria (1963). From there, the Centre re-established Mountain School at Shere Hills, Jos. In line with the geographical divide of the country, a Training Unit was established Sea School at Apapa (Lagos) in 1964, paving way for one at the eastern zone Forest School, Port Harcourt, River State in 1977. A Women Unit of the Centre was established in 1975. This Unit was recently relocated to a permanent site at Otu – Jeremi, Delta State. The relocation was facilitated by the Delta State Government. The centre also established the following units in 2002, CLTC Desert school, fika: yobe state; CLTC RockLand school, kotokorshi, Zamfara state and CLTC HillTop school, Agwu, Enugu state; thus ensuring the spread of its operations across the six geo-political zones of the country.