By Fabian Ekeruche
A group of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has unveiled an initiative tagged Citizen Scenarios to 2060 (CS60) to provide a projection into Nigeria’s development that will lead to its centenary.
The CS60 was unveiled at a virtual news conference monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
NAN reports that the (CSOs) described four scenarios as a picture of Nigeria’s developmental trajectory which depends largely on the choices that citizens, followers and leaders make to earn a great future.
Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, said that CS60 centred on four possible scenarios for Nigeria in 2060.
Okereke listed the four scenarios as Land of Hustle, Green Land, Land of Lost Hope and Bloodland.
The don said that CS60 would provide citizens the opportunity to create the future they want by 2060.
“As a climate change researcher, policy advocate and playing an integral role in understanding how Nigeria can transition to a more sustainable economy is very important.
“I hope that Nigerians take note of the potential futures that we can shape. The challenge is urgent and we must start immediately,” Okereke, who is also a co-initiator of CS60 advised.
Also speaking at the conference, Mrs Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, the 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 characterised 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.
Mr 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 industrialisation.
Dion said there would be 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 urbanisation and high stress on services.
Mr Friday Odey, the Country Director, Accountability Lab, Nigeria, said that Nigeria would remain democratic but tainted with corrupt governance under the scenario of the Land of lost hope.
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 includes 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, the Executive Director, BudgiT Foundation, described the Bloodland scenario as one characterised by authoritarian rule, factionalism and separatist agitation.
Onigbinde said that under this scenario, the judiciary would be far from being independent and is also characterised 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 urbanisation.
NAN reports that the CS60 team believes that the quality and integrity of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria will lay a foundation for future elections. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Joy Mbachi/Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma