Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has expressed concern over the underdevelopment of the northern parts of Nigeria, especially the North West and North East.
Dangote, while speaking at the 4th edition of the Kaduna Investment Summit (KadInvest 4.0) in Kaduna on Wednesday, berated Northern governors for the underdevelopment crisis in the region and he affirmed that Northern Nigeria will continue to remain poor except states governments collaborated with the private sector to create investments and close development gaps in the region.
According to him: “Nigeria is ranked at 157th out of 189 countries on the human development index. While the overall socio-economic condition in the country is a cause for concern, the regional disparities are in fact very alarming.
“In the North Western and North Eastern parts of Nigeria, more than 60 per cent of the population lives in extreme poverty.
“It is instructive to know that the 19 Northern states which accounts for over 54 per cent of Nigeria’s population and 70 per cent of its landmass, collectively generate, only 21 per cent of the total subnational IGR in the year 2017.
“Northern Nigeria will continue to fall behind if the respective states governments do not move to close the development gap.
“And that is why we are always saying the biggest challenge that we have and what we have been praying for is to have 10 governors like Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to move the northern Nigeria forward.
“Closing the gap requires multi years investment and government will not be able to raise the require capital funding, only the private sector can raise the capital to fund the level of investment that this country needs.
“Therefore, government must create the conducive environment that will trigger a huge inflow of private capital into attractive sectors of the economy.
“Private investment will create jobs and will ameliorate the twin problem of poverty and unemployment.
“As more people are gainfully employed, you will witness a very sharp decline in some of the disturbing social vices prevalent in our society, especially among the youths.”
Dangote revealed that Dangote group was working with Peugeot of France and Kaduna State government to establish multi-billion naira automobile assembly in Kaduna State.
Dangote alsoo disclosed that Dangote Group will be considering investing in dairy production in Kaduna state.