The Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi ll, says no leader in Northern Nigeria should be happy that 87% of poor Nigerians reside in the North.
Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), made this known against the backdrop of a recent report by the World Bank that 87% of poor Nigerians reside in the northern part of Africa’s most populous country.
The report, published on 28 January, 2020, by the Bretton Wood institution, noted that the south-south part of Nigeria recorded the most significant drop in poverty between 2011 and 2016.
World Bank said poverty in the northern region of Nigeria had been increasing, especially in the north-west zone, which houses President Muhammadu Buhari’s Katsina State.
“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016,” the global bank had said.
“Poverty rates in the southern zones were around 12 percent with little variation across zones. The south-south zone saw the most significant drop in poverty from 2011-2016. Poverty was significantly higher in rural areas of the country in 2016.
“An estimated 64 percent of all poor lived in rural areas and 52 percent of the rural population lived below the poverty line in 2016. In contrast, the poverty rate in urban areas remained stable at 16 percent between 2011 and 2016.”
Speaking at a gathering to mark the 60th birthday of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-rufai, the former CBN governor said he was not happy with the situation in the region.
He said, “When we talk about birthday, we talk about happiness. Just last week, someone asked me, are you happy? And I said I am not. And the person was surprised.
“Nobody who is a leader in the Northern Nigeria today can afford to be happy. You cannot be happy with about 87 percent of poverty in Nigeria being in the north.
“You can’t be happy with millions of Northern children out of school. You can’t be happy with nine states in the North contributing almost 50 percent of the entire malnutrition burden in the country.
“You can’t be happy with the drug problem; you can’t be happy with the Boko Haram problem. You can’t be happy with political thuggery. You can’t be happy with all the issues; the Almajiri problem that we have.
“We have been saying this for 20 to 30 years. If the North does not change, the North will destroy itself. The country is moving on. Quota system that everybody talks about must have a sunset clause.
“So, we wish Nasir a happy birthday, but we do not want him to be happy as a leader. Because you are happy when you think you have reached a state of delivering and taking your people to where you want them to be.”
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