Three Scenarios for Nigeria going into 2050

By the year 2050, Nigeria’s population will more than double its current size to reach 402 million, making Nigeria the third most populous country in the world. Also, in 2050, 67% will be below 35 years and about 62% will fall in the working age group. 

This growing population will create pressure on social amenities, infrastructure, food security, human capital and jobs. With these in mind, how prepared is Nigeria for this demographic emergency and what are the possible scenarios for Nigeria going into 2050? 

Wilson Erumebor presenting Three Scenarios for Nigeria at the NES#25

In developing the scenarios, some domestic & external factors will influence Nigeria’s direction towards 2050. The domestic factors include population growth, rabid urbanisation, climate change and unity & safety of Nigeria. On the external side, there is the advancement in innovation and technology, shift from traditional energy sources to renewable energy and increased globalisation. The interplay of these factors as well as our response as a nation will lead Nigeria to three scenarios in 2050. 


Scenario 1- NIGERIA STAGNATES. In this scenario, Nigeria will neither improve significantly nor wither. Scenario 2- NIGERIA RISES. The economy booms, many Nigerians are lifted out of poverty. This is the Nigeria of our dreams. Scenario 3- NIGERIA FAILS. Nigerians go through hardship and the country heads towards disintegration. 

As Nigeria Stagnates, GDP grows by an average of 3.3% from 2020 – 2050. Nigeria is ranked as the 40th largest economy in the world in 2050. Unemployment rate reaches 49% in 2050. Poverty rate rises to 58% and life expectancy reaches 55 years.

As Nigeria Rises, GDP grows by 9.3% from 2020 to 2050. Nigeria is ranked as the 7th largest economy in the world after Japan. Unemployment rate falls to 7%; Poverty rate declines to 8% and life expectancy rises to 68 years. The industrial sector booms as Nigeria leverages technology.

As Nigeria Fails, it enters into a recession in 2021 and stays there for a long time. Unemployment increases from 21 million to 193 million – 75% unemployment rate. 80% of Nigerians are poor – that’s 321 million Nigerians. Imagine the implication on crime, theft, violence, kidnapping etc.

So how can we achieve the Nigeria Rises scenario? Well, first, is to have a long-term shared vision for our country, where we want Nigeria to be. Secondly, is to develop medium to short term plans to actualise our vision and lastly as a country, we must hold ourselves accountable to ensure implementation.

I am humbled to have presented the three scenarios for Nigeria in 2050 and hope that we all work together to build that Nigeria of our dreams.

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