The above map, which shows the sub-national poverty rates in Nigeria, is very instructive:
It shows clearly that there is no correlation between where the President of Nigeria comes from and incidence of wealth and poverty. The map clearly shows that power has been a curse to northern Nigeria and that their hold on power for over 30 of the nation’s 50 years has been a waste.
It shows that addressing wrong priorities can never produce wealth. The fundamental issues of education and health matter a lot. This is because it increases the competitiveness of the population and facilitates the dispersal of wealth rather than its concentration in a few hands.
Evidently, by other corroborative statistics, it will be discovered that the areas with high poverty rates have more incidence of illiteracy and poor health. The two tend to entrench traditional practices such as plural marriages, which leads to unrestrained population growth.
Acculturation and inculturation facilitates adoption of productive d wealth creating business practices. This explains why the poverty rates declines south ward. Plateau by its clement weather has been until recently the melting pot of all cultures. This has impacted on her poverty rate at 51.6% being the best in the North. It is feared that this performance may decline due to escalating terrorism and religious intolerance. Same goes for Taraba.
Ebonyi State is the sore point in the East. This is understandable from the historic standpoint of illiteracy and backwardness. The South should learn from the mistakes of the North and that is why Ebonyi State should watch it. The state is dragging the region backwards. The deplorable state of Ebonyi can be traced to their propensity to strange religion that encourages the men to grow harems of women and produce children they cannot train. That is why most of the street hawkers in major towns of the federation are from Ebonyi. One hopes that government efforts yields desired results in the years ahead.
A major lesson of this sub-national poverty rate is that a tree cannot make a forest. That Dangote is the richest man in Africa has not made any significant change in the poverty statistics of the North. This reinforces the fact that in a rat race, the winner will still be a rat hence we all have to team up to create a better society.
Another lesson is that wealth creation in Nigeria is fuelled or propelled more by individual efforts in the informal sector. This is largely true of the South East, South South and large parts of South West. There is this little or no impact of government in wealth creation hence the floundering of the northern states. Responsible leadership can leapfrog a nation from poverty to wealth. We got to learn from Singapore and other Asian countries. China is today an economic behemoth more by planning and policy execution than by any manna falling from heaven.
Nigeria is virtually on rudderless auto flight and will need to be given direction. The escalating poverty in the North is not a good omen at all. With it, the end of terrorism and religious fundamentalism is not insight. We need to restructure this country in such a way that the real potentials of this country can be harnessed to unlock the huge wealth within.
The North has been hoodwinked into believing that power belongs to them. It is imperative to ask if this hold on power has helped the region in any way or further impoverished the people while a few prospers at the detriment of the majority.
This clique has manipulated the people to remain antagonistic to relocation of power elsewhere. Much to their discomfort. For crying out loud, if it would take a southerner to open up the region to wealth creation, the better. For instance, It needed a Goodluck Jonathan to build nomadic schools for the hordes of itinerant herdsmen. Until then, nobody bothered if they needed to be educated or not.
And I think the wool should fall off the eyes of the people because there is nothing they can point to as gain for all the years they have clung onto power but acute poverty, almajirism, and religious fundamentalism.
Encouraging a poor man to marry four wives and sire several children under whatever guise is evil. Northern men are not hornier than their Southern compatriots, who stick, mostly, to one man, one wife. Some reasonable and enlightened northerners have also imbibed the idea of one wife and smaller families. When a poor man marries four wives and probably sires 16 children he cannot take good care of, the result is obvious. Delinquency. Almajiri. Boko Haram. This is the scourge of the nation.
It is self-evident, therefore, that the North, irrespective of how long they have clung to power remains the shame of Nigeria and MUST have a rethink NOW.