New Book: Navigate: A prospection of Nigeria’s future to 2030 by Olumayowa Okediran

New Book: Navigate: A prospection of Nigeria’s future to 2030 by Olumayowa Okediran

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What will you give to see what will happen in your life ten years? Perhaps, it can help you begin to review some of the decisions you are making today, so they may lead to your desired outcomes. One of man’s challenges is that he cannot see so far ahead to let him enjoy opportunities of the future while escaping the dangers that reside therein.

Imagine that you could actually predict the economic recession that hit Nigeria in 2016. Most especially the downfall of the naira against other currencies. Perhaps, you would have protected your financial interests and kept your money in more stable deposits that will enable you ride the wave of the economic crisis without your financial situation worsening. Perhaps you would have delayed some of your transactions, while hastening others.  To make this clearer, let us assume this is January 1965, just few years after Nigeria gained independence and a year before the country descended into a bloody ethnic war. Let us assume you, an Igbo man, were deciding whether to open a new branch of your booming company in Northern Nigeria and in another Eastern State. You consider numerous factors, but you clearly could not see the war coming. Because of this, situating your new branch in a new region looked very lucrative as you could claim the opportunities in a new market. You began to see signs that a conflict might be brewing only a few months later. However, at this time, you had already made significant investment that meant running home would amount to counting your losses.

 

There are many reasons we all want to see how our future unfolds. Sometimes it is to pre-empt it, other times to prepare for it. The book, Nigeria in 2030: A Prospection, is scenario planning action taken on the world’s most populous black nation. This book is an attempt at presenting a clearer view of how Nigeria’s future unfolds from now to 2030.

 

What this book is not is a forecast. Forecast tend to assume the future as a trajectory of the present. Forecasts develop a single certain future around which a strategy must be built. There is not much early warning that the forecast may be wrong. Scenario planning instead understands that there are several possibilities of how the future may play out. Thus, scenario planners usually develop multiple plausible futures. A strategy is built around those futures. This process also reveals flags that show which future is playing out, thus helping decision makers adjust their sails.

 

One of the first things this book does is explain the difference between forecasts and scenario planning. Then it explains the process of creating scenarios. The process usually starts by asking ourselves what question we wish to answer. What future do we wish to see? For us, we want to know how Nigeria’s state structure will look like in 2030. One of the most challenging questions people have nowadays is whether Nigeria’s centre will continue to hold despite numerous threats that come in form of demands for restructuring or secession. How impactful are our socio-economic situations in the stability of our state? What trends do we need to look out for to help us decide if Nigeria is headed for a breakup or something entirely different, an anarchy? Our single most important question thus is; will Nigeria continue to function as a single indivisible entity?

 

For us to be able to view Nigeria’s future and answer the question we set out to ask, we review and analyse the trends that has been occurring in Nigeria in the political, social and economic spheres. We dedicate a chapter to each of these political, social and economic trends. From these, we highlighted some of the most uncertain and highly impactful drivers of Nigeria’s future. Then, we use these to develop our scenarios. This book presents four likely futures that Nigerians would have encountered by 2030.

 

SCENARIO ONE: Nigeria enjoys political stability and transitions between the leading parties at elections have been smooth. The government has made progress in addressing corruption, and the rule of law has strengthened. The country has successfully diversified the economy and continued to improve on the Ease of Doing Business. In addition to this, reforms introduced in the agricultural sector has helped the country move closer to self-sufficiency. Citizens favour the unity of Nigeria more than ever. While ethnic disparities are still obvious, the country has made progress in creating a formidable statehood. The country is winning its war against terrorism and insurgency. Although this has come with numerous repression of human rights. Freedom of speech remains a mainstay and citizens are more willing to participate in electoral processes and governance.

 

The scenarios:

 

The first is Full Course, under which a future Nigeria administration undertakes an authoritarian growth path that positions the country as Africa’s dominant economic power. The second is The Buffet, under which rising living standards trigger an increasingly stable federal state and one in which civil liberties come more clearly to the fore. In the Empty Dish outcome, a repressive state persists with statist policy interventions that gradually undermine Nigeria’s global competitiveness, triggering a further erosion of civil liberties. Under Broken China, ethnic tensions and secessionist pressures splinter the country into eventually autonomous regional units.

 

The book by discusses some of the flags people should watch out for and what they will mean for the country in subsequent years. These flags will enable people, businesses and other decision makers understand how to anticipate results of certain events that play out in the country.

 

Navigate highlights Nigeria’s political and economic future by anticipating long term consequences of present day events. It therefore contains important information for strategic planners, investors, politicians, lobbyists and generally everyone interested or will be affected by political and economic changes in the country. The book helps to lay out sufficient advanced warning to shifts in political and economic trends and can be used to:

  • Develop detailed shart and long term plans for businesses.
  • Develop contingency plans and risk management strategies
  • Inform the business community of Nigeria’s current political and economic environments and provide guides on what may change
  • Provide adequate information for everyone interested in Nigeria to make informed decisions such as a decision to relocate or not

 

Scenario planning is a methodology that is gradually gaining the attention of the business community in Nigeria and thus not many books exist that discuss the subject or seek to investigate the future utilizing scenario planning. It is still largely a tool used in boardrooms for strategic planning.

 

This book is likely the first attempt to investigate Nigeria’s future utilizing scenarios as an investigative tool. This therefore puts this book in a unique position. The book explores four scenarios for Nigeria’s future. All of which postulates plausible and realistic scenarios.

 

About the Author

Olumayowa Okediran is the Managing Director of African Liberty, a founding partner at the War Room Associates and the West Africa Policy Fellow at South Africa’s top political and economic think-tank, the South African Institute of Race Relations. He also serves as the Assistant Director of International Programs at Students For Liberty. His views on politics and economics have been translated into 16 languages including French, Spanish, Czech, Portuguese, Serbian, Macedonian, Greek, Khmer and Vietnamese and he frequently gives lectures at seminars around the world. Olumayowa completed postgraduate studies in Humanitarian and Refugee Studies at the University of Ibadan and holds professional certification in financial journalism from the Gordon Institute of Business Science and in foresight from the University of Houston.

 

 

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