These are uncertain times for Nigeria. The country is facing many uncertainties, from the institution of good governance with robust leadership, economic revitalization and diversification, the development of a national innovation and technological capacity, the poverty challenge, to how to address the conflicts and disorder which flares up routinely in various parts of the country.
How will these issues turn out and how will the outcomes shape the future of Nigeria? What kind of nation should Nigerians aspire to build? How can the vision be turned into reality? Although no one can foretell the future, these important questions have been successfully addressed in other countries through the use of the scenario methodology, using high level cross-representative teams to explore, debate, argue and finally reach consensus on alternative paths their nation could take to the future. The results of such exercises are scenarios which present alternative images of the future and an exploration of how various decisions, actions and inactions could play out into the future.
The Naija Junction Scenarios exercise, recently completed by a team of 33 Nigerians and 2 external participants is such an exercise. Launched in November 2006, the exercise was designed to develop a series of scenarios on how Nigeria could evolve in the future, thereby painting images of plausible trajectories for the evolution of the country until the year 2025.
Over the past 15 months, the scenario team from different walks of life met in workshops and in a series of sub committee meetings on a voluntary basis to analyze the factors that will influence the future development of Nigeria and have built four logically consistent and thought provoking scenarios which explores plausible futures for Nigeria. The four scenarios provide key messages on how a desirable future could possibly be created, and identifies the pitfalls that must be avoided. In addition, the team proposes an Agenda for Change. In summary, the scenarios are:
- Parambulator: A roundabout story of how to get from where you were to where you were in about 18 years.
- Shine Your Eye: A story of a people that seek salvation from a small clique of leaders who are able to deliver some economic gains at the high price of brutal repression of individual freedom and self actualization.
- Jaga Jaga Republic: A story of how self-seeking leadership, endemic corruption, a populace rendered supine by apathy and superstition, ethnic distrust, religious strife, and elitist power struggle all contribute to destroying the Nigerian nation.
- We don Win: A story of how, with remarkable foresight and fortitude, Nigerians are able to raise their nation from its slumber to become Africa’s largest economy and a leading member of the G20.
As always, the scenarios are stories about possible paths to the future, and not predictions. However, they do create a framework for discussion and debate, and it is our hope that, the outputs of this exercise will be widely discussed across Nigeria, and that it will stimulate a collective reflection and dialogue on the kind of future Nigerians want to build and how to make this a reality.
The Naija Junction Scenarios were produced under the guidance of an Advisory Board consisting of eminent representatives from civil society, government and private sector, the technical guidance and facilitation of the African Leadership Institute (www.alinstitute.org), and the managerial support of LEAP Africa (www.leapafrica.org). For further information about the Nigeria 2025 Scenarios: Naija Junction, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +234 1 2706541/2.
Hattip Emeka Okafaor @ African Unchained