In order to strategically address the various socio-economic problems facing Nigeria as a nation, experts have recommended the concept of scenario planning as a viable tool for policy makers and business leaders.
The submission was lauded at the recently concluded workshop on “Scenario Planning for National Change” held at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos Plateau State.
The workshop, which is the first to be held in Nigeria, was organised by the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in collaboration with the REOS Partners from South Africa.
Speaking at the workshop, Amina Oyagbola, Human Resources Executive, MTN Nigeria laid a foundation for a purposeful application of scenario planning as a model that has been adapted and worked in solving socio-economic problems in some other countries across the world.
“We all know that we are most challenged when faced with novel and unusual situations. Our difficulties are greatest when our challenges are existential” Oyagbola said.
As an impetus to resolving these challenges, particularly for policy makers and business leaders in Nigeria, Oyagbola remarked that “scenario planning helps us to escape such hopelessness or paralysis.
In scenario planning, we are able to test out the potential consequences of our choices and decisions through social laboratories. The empirical data we gather from such social laboratories help us to modulate and temper the quality of our decisions. Thus scenario planning and collaboration is one of the best ways of solving problems”.
Reviewing the components of globalisation as a major factor that must be deliberated and adequately situated to resolve socio-economic issues, Oyagbola revealed that “in Africa and particularly Nigeria, where rapid urbanization has torn the heart out of our traditional social organization, we need to rethink our approach to solving social and economic problems. As a people, we have to start thinking innovatively and purposefully.
We need to start using the things we have to achieve the ends we desire. Although it has come under heavy attack over the past few decades, our spirit of community and brotherhood is still a huge strength”.
Thus, “scenario planning is a tool for strategic thinking and planning. It guides the way we think and helps to construct solutions to our problems. It draws heavily on communal and stakeholder participation, and helps to ensure that solutions are universally accepted and therefore easier to implement” Oyagbola concluded.
The Scenario Planning for National Change workshop was declared open by the Vice President of the Federation, Yemi Osinbajo who was represented by the Head of Service of the Federation, Danladi Kifasi. Participants at the workshop were drawn from the public sector, private sector and civil society groups.