Beyond highlighting the challenges facing the country and painting alternative futures,
the Imagine Nigeria Report also recommends five pillars for a transformed Nigeria. They are:
Build a Culture of Innovation
For Nigeria to be competitive in the global marketplace its economy will have to increasingly become innovation-based. The government must set up development agendas that are innovation-driven, based on a well-funded National System of Innovation (NSI). Government should also work in close partnership with key sector/industry stakeholders to define the strategic goals and investment in sectors with the most potential to drive innovation and to pursue an aggressive policy of innovation-friendly regulatory framework to immediately eliminate the constraints to innovation and digitalisation.
Catalyse the Green Economy
Nigeria has what it takes to shift to a green economy and become Africa’s green powerhouse. For green growth to work for Nigerians, green economy must be embedded within Nigeria’s innovation-driven development agenda. The primary goal should be to position the country as an investment destination for disruptive green innovation and as an industry leader, creating solutions to both local and global challenges.
Nigeria has the potential and the desire to lead Africa. To achieve this, it needs to build a smart power strategy that combines both hard and soft power to become the kind of leader that creates opportunities for itself and its partners. This will require Nigeria to rethink its economy as creativity driven and service-based, leading the African agenda on trade and economic development; focusing its military might on conflict resolution and peacekeeping efforts in the continent; investing in diplomacy, generating goodwill and gaining greater influence in the regional and global multilateral arenas among other interventions.
Key to implementing the ideas identified in the Imagine Nigeria exercise is a need for Nigeria to build trust and dynamic government. This it can do by adopting a Government as a Platform (GaaP) approach, engaging citizens across all sectors, involving women and youth in policy responses, operating a transparent and decentralised government, ending impunity, and strengthening local, state and national peace infrastructure.
Facilitate a National Narrative
Nigeria needs to decide on a new way forward and renew its social compact. By means of national engagement and mapping of identities and ideas, Nigerians can build a renewed social compact that will guide priorities and reflect a common vision, defining what it means to be Nigerian and creating the necessary social cohesion based on solidarity and shared interconnectedness and in the process build a grand narrative that tells the story of who we are as a people.