By Chioma Obinna
Nigerian civil society, CSOs and international experts have explored critical uncertainties, key drivers and potential outcomes, relating to the country’s future by 2060.
The group of experts and leading CSOs created ‘Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060 – CS60’ to provide a map of possible future events in Nigeria from now up to 2060.
The key sectors covered includes security, energy transition, agriculture, industrialization, urban and regional development, education, health, migration, and political participation.
Working through a combination of advanced scenario creation software and the analyses of local and international experts, they provided a glimpse into some disturbing but very real probabilities for Nigeria’s future.
They stated that Nigeria is facing what they described as ‘a number of existential challenges’, including unprecedented security threats, declining oil revenue, separatist agitations, large scale youth unemployment, and growing crime rates.
Others they said are; a wave of migration and brain drain, and severely underfunded health and education systems.
To address these issues, CS60 created four possible scenarios for Nigeria in 2060:• Land of Hustle, Green Land,Land of Lost Hope, and Bloodland.
CS60 is the first citizens scenario in Africa and arguably the clearest picture yet of the ways in which the future may unfold when it reaches 100 years of independence in 2060.
Announcing this during a virtual press conference organised to present the project titled: “Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060 – CS60”, a blueprint for concerned Nigerians to join the conversation and work towards a better future.
In her submission, the executive Director at Spaces for Change, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri while speaking on the Land of Hustle, noted that the constant growth of the nation was not benefiting the entire population due to inequality.
She said there will be a lot of economic activities in the country, but there will also be unemployment as a result of the fast growing population.
Ibezim-Ohaeri called on Nigerians to make the right choice during the 2023 and 2027 general elections. She said if the country gets it right in 2023, it will bring about positive changes while 2027 will solidify the scenarios highlighted.
She further added that effective citizen’s engagement was key to creating the acceptable future for all.
Speaking on Green Land, the Senior Advisor at CONNEX Support Unit and co-initiator of CS60, Mr Richard Dion commended Nigeria for the successfully introduction of a regional and global economic model that promotes inclusive growth, circular economy, sustainable development, innovation and economic leadership.
Stating the importance of the 2023 elections, Dion noted that credible elections are critical both in 2023 and 2027 for the green land scenario, hence, the need to elect leaders with positive track records and long term vision who has the masses at heart and not selfish.
Speaking, an entrepreneur and Director, BudgIT Foundation, Oluseun Onigbinde cautioned that if citizens allow regional identity to decide the outcome of the next election then the country would continue to face the same problems.
The CS60 is the first scenario in Africa and the clearest picture yet of the ways in which the future may unfold when it reaches 100 years of independence in 2060.
The project also provided Nigerians an opportunity to create the future that they want, not what officials and barons dictate.
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