- Three north west governors noted that the region is pulling the country backward
- They agreed to work towards national integration
Three North West governors have admitted that their region is pulling the country backward and stopping its progress but have decided to work towards changes.
The Sun reports that Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Kano State governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Zamfara governor, Abdulhazeez Yari spoke at the plenary session as discussants on the topic: “The integration of the North West Zone” at the second day of Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit.
The governors noted that there were lots of socio-economic problems in the region which has made it a burden to the country and promised to take serious action.
They noted that there was high rate of illiteracy, infant mortality, maternity mortality and morbidity, army of Almajaris, among other social menace and that this has made North-west a clog in the wheel of development of the nation.
Governor Ganduje noted that over three million Almajarais (street beggars) from neighbouring states were in his stat and this was a serious issue to deal with.
Governor El-Rufai said: “Unless we recognise that and come together, and address our common challenges, we will continue to pull Nigeria backward, in my opinion, and that is the last thing we want.
“And this is why, very early in the administration, we approached ARDP to help us put together a group of thinkers, experienced technocrats to think through these problems and help us map out an agenda because as Dr. Bugaje pointed out, the North-west has the largest density of water resources in Nigeria, in fact, in the west Africa sub-region. So by constructing small dams and focusing on agriculture, we will be able to feed, not only Nigeria, but most of the sub-regions.”
Governor Yari noted that the integration of the north-west was very important to national development.
He said: “We have advantage than any other zone in the country when it come to agriculture. We have the land, we have the people, we are the most populous zone, so we have to take advantage of that. When you talk about education, in the north, we are backward and we have comparative advantage from one state to the other…”