…for anyone thinking about their children, the long term is palpable every time they look into their child’s eyes. Because it is not about ourselves that we are creating these scenarios, which we hope will provoke and inspire; It is for them. But we have to lay the foundations. What we do today, what we did yesterday and what we will do tomorrow will combine to shape the Nigeria of 2060.
An independent Nigeria limps into another year, turns 63. With the elections just around the corner, a rare opportunity has arrived for citizens to make their voices heard, voting for someone who, in their eyes, will guide Nigeria on a path of improvement. It is no longer news that Nigeria is facing an array of existential challenges, including unprecedented security threats, declining oil revenues, separatist upheavals, large-scale youth unemployment, rising crime rates, a wave of migration and brain drain; and seriously inadequate health and education. systems
What may the future hold for Nigeria when it reaches 100 years of independence in 2060 and how will our action and inaction today shape the future we achieve?
Scenarios for citizens: what “land” do we want?
In Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060 (CS60)a cohort of over 40 Nigerian CSOs and international experts came together to create four scenarios for the country: Greenland, Land of Hustle, Land of Lost Hope and Bloodland.
The scenarios are not predictions, but plausibly created “memories of the future.” These sketches provoke thought and inspire hope. Us Let’s start with some fundamental questions:
- What will a population of 400 million look like in 2050 and how would that affect social services and infrastructure?
- What will Nigeria be like after oil?
- Do education and health, arguably the two largest public goods in the country, receive enough investment?
- Will the role of women change? Will women do better than 4% representation in political office?
- Will the exodus of talent continue, leaving Nigeria’s brain drained?
The Finnish company, Capful, used their proprietary tool to map all the input received from the experts to create the most plausible options for the country. Here is a brief overview of each scenario:
How can we right this ship and move it in the right direction? It starts every morning in front of the mirror and requires the perseverance and perseverance that comes from within. One thing the scenarios make clear is that the quality and integrity of the 2023 election will go a long way to shaping the country’s trajectory and future.
Hustle Land (On the way)
- Growth is high but uneven. The government emphasizes free enterprise and neoliberal economic policies. Nigeria’s knowledge economy is based on a deep and broad partnership between universities and business.
- Primary and secondary education are free and accessible. Power generation is gradually getting closer to meeting national demand.
- Nigerian identity and cohesion are strong, especially within the growing middle class. The legislature supports citizen engagement and people trust public institutions. Governance is accountable and transparent.
- Population growth is controlled. Cities are inclusive, resilient and professionally planned. Neoliberal policies result in a focus on the middle class, with many poor and uneducated people being left behind in society.
Greenland (around a corner)
- Nigeria’s economic model promotes inclusive growth, a circular economy and sustainable development. Nigeria succeeds in transitioning to green energy. Growth is driven by business, community, and industrialization.
- There is equal access to primary and secondary education, but access to higher education remains unequal. Internet penetration is high. Access to energy is universal and reliable with a strong participation of the private sector.
- Hasty laws and regulations create resistance when different interest groups and powerful individuals worry about losing their power or privileges. People trust institutions and no one is above the law.
- High growth contributes to rapid urbanization, emphasizing infrastructure, services, and highlighting insufficient housing.
Land of Lost Hope (the Slow Descent)
- There is industrial activity, but it is not diverse or advanced. Poverty remains high and there is no livelihood for everyone.
- Primary school is free and compulsory, but a significant number of children do not attend school. Internet penetration remains uneven. The energy sector is characterized by poor service and low availability and reliability. Electrification is maintained in 60% of the population.
- Governance is democratic, but the law is not respected, while favoritism and corruption are widespread. There is no real commitment to the citizens and discontent is common. Politics is divisive and people have lost their faith in Nigeria.
- There is a huge increase in the population, while a huge brain drain collapses services. There is total chaos, endless expansion, pollution, confrontation, privatization and division.
- In this scenario, the slide towards abandonment and ruin continues. The population is constantly increasing. There is no thought of stopping the growth of cities. Education is neglected: Teachers remain largely on strike, and when they do work, they have no choice but to dole out good grades to the highest bidders.
Bloodland (into the abyss)
- There is relatively high but uneven growth based on lax regulation, extraction (partly due to a lack of sustainability regulations), and investment from authoritarian countries. Development only occurs in sectors that finance the central government in preferred regions.
- Large China-style infrastructure projects are carried out with the support of Chinese investments. Slight improvements are implemented in education, without significant impact on the quality and access to schooling. Private institutions provide for the rich.
- Election irregularities and worsening divisions result in a civil war and later an authoritarian military dictatorship. Global ideological changes support this, as democracy is no longer considered as attractive as before. Separatism and insurgency are widespread.
- There is rapid urbanization and stress on insufficient services, housing and services. Many megacities arise. Slums and insecurity become common. Most cannot afford the apartments.
- Any hope, lost or not, is gone and the country simply descends into civil war.
What role does each of us play in this?
There is no shortage of talent, goodwill and perseverance in Nigeria. However, the challenges are immense, as the vast majority of citizens fight fires on a daily basis. Thinking in the long term seems luxurious, in part it is. However, for anyone thinking about their children, the long term is palpable every time they look their child in the eye. Because it is not about ourselves that we are creating these scenarios, which we hope will provoke and inspire; It is for them. But we have to lay the foundations. What we do today, what we did yesterday and what we will do tomorrow will combine to shape the Nigeria of 2060.
How can we right this ship and move it in the right direction? It starts every morning in front of the mirror and requires the perseverance and perseverance that comes from within. One thing the scenarios make clear is that the quality and integrity of the 2023 elections will go a long way to shaping the trajectory and future of the country.
Chukwumerije Okereke is the director of the Center for Climate Change and Development at AE-Funai University and co-initiator with Richard Dion of Which Way Nigeria – Citizen Scenarios to 2060.
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