Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai says the North-West geopolitical zone of the country has human development indices that are closer to those of the Afghanistan.
El-Rufai disclosed this on Tuesday while speaking at the Human Capital Development Communication Strategy meeting organised by the National Economic Council under the chairmanship of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The governor said the North-West region has the highest number of out-of-school children and the highest poverty rates in Nigeria.
He described the region as one that is troubled and in crisis.
El-Rufai further said that the population of the zone which is the highest in the country is a blessing as well as a curse.
According to him, the North West population is a blessing if the population is kept healthy with the children educated and given skills for the future and a curse if the children are not educated, they are not healthy and they feel hopeless.
Similarly, speaking at the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit in April, El-Rufai spoke about the backwardness of some northern states.
“Yesterday, the Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi II, made certain observations about the state of northern Nigeria within the larger Nigeria context,” he said.
“Because the truth of the matter is when you look at human development in the indices of Nigeria, they hide a lot of information. They saw us as middle income country, they saw that we are making progress in terms of education and health care.
“But when you disaggregate this number and look at them from zone to zone, from state to state, it is very revealing. It shows for, instance, that some states in Nigeria are as backward as Afghanistan in terms of education, health care and opportunities. And many of the states in the Northwest are afflicted with these challenges.”