Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has likened the North West region of the country to the Taliban-governed Afghanistan.
The North West region consists of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara States.
The governor stated that the region has been ravaged by bandits, communal clashes, farmers-herders clashes and cattle rustlers and other security challenges.
El-Eufai made the submission on Tuesday while speaking at the Human Capital Development Communication Strategy meeting in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
According to the governor, the North West has the highest poverty rate, the worst human development indices, and the highest number out of school children.
El-Rufai stated that the region has the largest population of any geopolitical zone in the country, adding that the region;’s population is both a blessing and a curse.
He, however, called for investments in education, healthcare, nutrition and skill acquisition in order to solve the various situation facing the North West.
He said: “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 Northwest 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.”