Leading Nigerian Civil Societies and some international experts have created ‘Which Way Nigeria- Citizen Scenario to 2060- CS60.
CS60 was unveiled officially to the press via a virtual news conference monitored and attended by newsmen in Lagos.
Speaking at the unveiling of CS60, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, Director, Center for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, noted that Nigeria was facing a number of existential challenges.
Okereke said that the challenges included unprecedented security threats, declining oil revenue, separatist agitations, large scale youth unemployment, growing crime rates, a wave of migration and brain drain, and severely underfunded health and education systems.
The don said that at over 200 million people presently, the country’s population is also expected to reach 400 million by 2050.
The scholar, who is also a co-initiator of CS60, said that to help address these issues, leading Nigerian civil society and international experts have created ‘Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060 – CS60.
According to him, these scenarios provide a map of possible future events in Nigeria from now up to 2060 covering key sectors: – security, energy transition, agriculture, industrialization, urban and regional development, education, health, migration, and political participation.
“The initiative Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060 (CS60) explored the critical uncertainties, key drivers and potential outcomes, relating to the country’s future.
“Through a combination of advanced scenario creation software and the analyses of local and international experts, provided a glimpse into some disturbing but very real probabilities for Nigeria’s future.
“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 our future may unfold when it reaches 100 years of independence in 2060.
“These scenarios serve as a blueprint for concerned Nigerians to join the conversation and work towards a better future,” Okereke said.
The expert in climate change and development said that ‘Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060’ provides citizens the very rare opportunity to create the future that they want, not what officials dictate.
He explained that the initiative is also geared to spark the entire country to be the change and live the change to create the Nigeria that is a global player, not the hobbling giant of Africa.
Okereke said that the scenarios were the first chapter in this initiative, adding that the next task would be loose roadmaps, which CSOs will create, that will serve as the basis for what MUST be done on the way to 2060 to achieve a just, resilient and sustainable Nigeria.
“With every citizen’s engagement, a more accountable government is in place, which makes a better future more achievable.
“What can citizens very practically do to engage their government?,” Okereke asked.
Speaking at the conference, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, Executive Director, Spaces for Change, presented the summary of the characteristics of the Land of Hustle.
Ibezim-Ohaeri said that Nigeria under the Land of Hustle is characterized by a Knowledge economy, gradually less dependent on fossil fuels, high but unequal growth and free primary and secondary education.
She said that the country would also witness slow change in the energy sector, good leadership, accountable and transparent governance, equality before the law, and a Nigerian identity with strong cohesion.
Richard Dion, Governance, Communications and Regional Development expert said that Nigeria under the Green Land scenario would experience inclusive growth driven by enterprise, community and industrialization.
Dion said there would be a successful transition to green energy, equal access to education, reliable energy supply, and resistance when powerful groups and individuals worry of losing their privileges.
According to him, citizens engagement is strong with rapid urbanization and high stress on services.
Mr Friday Odey, Country Director, Accountability Lab, Nigeria, said that Nigeria would remain democratic but tainted with corrupt governance under the Land of Lost Hope scenario.
Odey said that there would be fast-growing population with the citizens experiencing great disillusion.
He said that the scenario creates a picture of enormous brain drain, marked by a weak economy and an undermined middle class.
Other characteristics of the scenario include high poverty, dependence on hydrocarbons, nonfunctional services with high numbers of Out- of- school children.
He added that electrification would cover 60 per cent of the country’s population under this scenario.
In his presentation, Mr Olusegun Onigbinde, Executive Director, BudgIT Foundation, described the Blood land scenario as one characterized by authoritarian rule, factionalism and separatist agitation.
Onigbinde explained that under this scenario, the judiciary would be far from being independent and is also characterized by high unequal growth in the economy.
He said that under this scenario, there would be weak action on climate change, continued use of oil, and rapid urbanization.