The Northern States Governors Forum has said it is the responsibility of Northern leaders to find opportunities for the people of the North.
This statement was made by Borno Governor, Kashim Shettima, the Chairman of the Forum whilst speaking on the issue of poverty during the 50th anniversary of the death of the late Premier of the north, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
Shettima said, “Unemployment in the north is extremely high. Nigeria is a country of two nations, the South is much more stable and prosperous, the north on the other hand is in a poverty trap. In Nigeria, poverty wears a northern cap, if you are looking for a poor man, get somebody wearing a northern cap.”
“Sardauna was a leader of his own generation and every generation come up with its own style of leader. Sardauna did remarkably well for the North and for the nation, our duty, especially for those of us in the North is in our interest to invest in the people.
“Nigeria’s population will double in the next 23 years. By 2020, Nigeria’s population will be around 210 million. By 2030, there will be about 270 million Nigerians and by 2050, when old men like me might not be around, the population will be around 440 million.
“By then, we will be the third most populous nation on earth and most importantly, 70% of the population will be living in Northern Nigeria. Deforestation, desertification, joblessness, hopelessness, illiteracy, unemployment, low access to health facilities are all recipes for disaster.
“It is in our enlightened self interest as northern leaders to invest in the people, to invest in agriculture, to create jobs because, there is a direct correlation with endemic poverty and most of the crisis threatening the north,” he added.