North-West has become like Afghanistan — El-Rufai cries out

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai 

The governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, says the north-west region can be likened to Afghanistan that is afflicted by crisis and the worst human development indices.

Speaking at the ‘human capital development communication strategy’ meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, el-Rufai said the region has the highest poverty rate, out of school children and insecurity.

The human capital development (HCD) programme was launched in March 2018 by the national economic council (NEC) with the purpose of addressing poverty, increasing investments in the Nigerian people and improving the human development indices of the country.

El-Rufai said the situation of the north-west will get worse if investments are not channelled towards education, healthcare, nutrition and skills, adding that the population of the region is both a blessing and a curse.

“I represent the north-west zone in the human capital development council, and as you know our part of the country is afflicted with the highest numbers of out of school children, some of the highest poverty rates and some of the highest dropout rates in our schools. 

“As if that is not enough, many of our schools are now closed because of the insecurity in our boarding schools. Most of the schools in the north-west have been closed while security operations are taking place, making our education situation the worst.

“Our health statistics are no better. When you disaggregate the national data into zones and regions it’s clear that most of southern Nigeria have statistics that are leading income in the country while most of the north-west have human development indices that are closer to those of Afghanistan. Our region is in crisis.

“We have the largest population of any geopolitical zone in the country. That is both a blessing and a curse; a blessing if we keep the population healthy and educate the children and give them skills for the future. A curse if they are not educated, they are not healthy and they feel hopeless. This is what we are seeing with our insecurity.”

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