The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said that the Federal Government believes strongly in the efficacy of scenario planning as an effective strategy for national change. He has therefore promised

that the government will provide the necessary support to the National Institute to champion this strategy.

He also said that as quickly as possible the Federal Government intends to integrate the initiative into the national planning and strategy development processes. Prof. Osinbajo was speaking at the Opening Ceremony of a workshop on Scenario Planning for National Change organised by the National Institute in partnership with REOS Partners of South Africa.

Represented by the Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, CFR, mni, the Vice President requested the National Institute and its partners as well as workshop participants to submit a robust proposal to the government on how to implant scenario planning in national governance process, identify issues of critical national change to which methodology can be deployed and implementation framework.

The Vice President also commended the management of the National Institute, the REOS Partners and many eminent Nigerian individuals who have worked assiduously to bring the REOS concept of managing social change to Nigeria.

Speaking earlier, the Director-General, NIPSS, Professor Tijjani Muhammad- Bande, OFR said the workshop will go a long way in empowering top decision makers with the capacity to craft development road-maps that are genuinely strategic and can fully address the myriad of our national challenges. He also said he has no doubt that the workshop will be useful in predicting outcomes. Professor Muhammad-Bande said that partnership is worth nurturing.

There was also good will message from REOS Board Chairman Dr. Christopher Kolade. Speaking on his behalf, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola, Human Resource Executive MTN Nigeria, said NIPSS is a well-known and highly respected Institute. It has been at the heart of strategic thinking and policy formulation in Nigeria for over three decades.

REOS on the other hand, is a new comer to Nigeria but it is not a new comer to its stated areas of excellence, transformative scenario planning. It has had significant success in Brazil, Guatemala, Columbia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, USA, Netherlands and India, solving tough socio-economic problems.

Mrs. Oyagbola said as Nigerians we need to begin thinking innovatively and purposefully using the things we have to achieve the ends we desire. To the participants, she said they are expected to be the midwives of the new improved nation we are expecting. In her words, “We must all recognize the importance of discipline, ethics and goal orientation. Also all must enthrone the ethos of selflessness and endeavor to always choose ability and experience above any narrow considerations.” She referred to NIPSS and REOS partnership as purposeful and unique.

Scenario planning is a new methodology for dealing with challenges. Scenario planning is a long-established tool for developing strategies to adapt to the future, aiming at changing the future. It enables us to transform ourselves and our relationship, while allowing the systems we are part of to offer us hope and a proven approach for moving forward together.

Alhaji Kigbu Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Head of Service, Ambassador S.T. Dogonyaro, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola, Human Resources Executive MTN Nigeria, NIPSS Management, Staff, Study Group Directors, SEC 37 Participants and Resource Persons from Reo South Africa: Collen Magner and Rebecca Freath, were the other dignitaries that graced the occasion.

The Workshop participants include Permanent Secretaries and Directors in Federal Government Ministries, Department and Agencies, Senior Executives responsible for planning Budgeting and public programme and implementation, Corporate/Business Strategy Executives in Private Sector organisations and NGOs.

Among the objectives of the workshop are the following:

(i) To clarify the concept of scenario planning
(ii) To illustrate how scenario planning has been used at macro and micro levels
(iii) To explain how it may be harnessed to engender inclusive government at all levels
(iv) To familiarize participants with the steps involved in scenario planning and clarify the role of board and staff in scenario planning. Several papers were presented at the 2-day workshop.