By Maureen Okon
A Federal Government study called `Imagine Nigeria’ on Monday urged Nigerians from all works of life to join hands in developing Nigeria to an enviable height.
Ms Lanre Shasore, Senior Special Assistant on Planning and Coordination, Office of the President, made the call at a news conference in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ”Imagine Nigeria” is a study promoted by the Federal Government and supported by Untied Nation Development Programme (UNDP), in exploring the future of Nigeria in the study’s framework.
“Imagine Nigeria will be launched on Aug.10 at the State House with a website that will allow all Nigerians to gain access to see possible ways they can contribute to re-build Nigeria.”
Shasore said that the study framework made some recommendations for Nigeria to lead Africa in becoming successful in the 21st century future by showing leadership on the continent.
“This is not a project, it has no budget, no expenditure and so on, it is a free standing future study, it is imagination on what we want our country to be and it recommended five ways to achieve that.
“We can build a culture of innovation, we can decide to stimulate a culture of green economy, we should lead Africa, we should build trust in society and lastly, we should facilitate national narratives.
“In leading Africa, it describes our long history of leading Africa already in the anti-apartheid struggle, national technical aid corps where we send volunteers across the world.
“ In our participation in peace keeping, it then makes recommendation if Nigeria is to be successful in the coming future we must show leadership on the content as the giant of Africa,” she said.
Shasore said that Nigeria have to build trust in the society, adding that the study recognised that Nigeria had challenges with cohesion and security.
“ So in order to change that and to turn the corner and be the Africa giant that awakes, we have to take steps to build trust in our society,’’ she said.
Mr Simon Ridley, UNDP Chief Technical Advisor, said that they had been working for two years on the ”Imagine Nigeria” framework.
According to Ridley, the website will go live on Wednesday and the framework will be launched on same day by a high level panel and it will be livestream.
“ We encourage all Nigerians to tune in and to take part because at the end of the day, the ”Imagine Nigeria” is for all Nigerians,’’ he said.
Speaking, Dr Olugbenga Adesida, the Lead Advisor for ”Imagine Nigeria”, said that Nigeria as the Africa largest economy had diverse opportunities when harness would be the envy of all.
He urged all well meaning-Nigerians from every sector to join hands in building the culture of innovation to transform Nigeria faster than expected.
“We are recommending that Nigeria uses soft power to help in developing other African countries and in turn develop herself.”
NAN reports that ”Imagine Nigeria” is designed as an independent exercise to facilitate collective reflections on the future of Nigeria.
The resulting report explores the challenges and opportunities as well as alternative scenarios of the future. Also, it proposes a series of resources, such as videos, action toolkits, infographics templates.
NAN reports that Nigerians can use the study to design and plan their own actions, start jointly building today to get a better future for their community and for the country.
NAN also reports that considering that there is no better time to think of the future of Nigeria than now, conservative consultations involving 300 people from all over the country and abroad are held at various levels to reflect on Nigeria’s future. (NAN)