Soludo[the controversial professor of economics from UNN now cbn governor]
remark that there is excess of poverty in the north is now a national debate of far reaching impact.This is very good and is what is expected of every A- class professor,to originate a national debate on topic of importance like northern poverty.The IMF-WORLD bank economic policies of beggar your neighbour he has been implementing over the years is another worthwhile achievement;thank you brilliant soludo.
Some of the remarks made by soludo are actually true.For example,his remark that
''if 21st century is knowledge base and only those with knowledge,sound education
and skills will progress and develop,then the north has its work cut out,''is real,the north with it poor education will not go anywhere in a mordern capitalist
,where the norm is survival of the fittest.
But his assertion that the level of poverty in the north is dragging back the
development of the other parts of the country is not true.There is massive
porverty in other parts of INDIA,but that does not stop BANGALORE and MUMBAI
from becoming what they are today.This is a challenge to Soludo's ONITSA and
ABA where insecurity is the order of the day.
Soludo's poverty is not synonymous with only north, but Nigeria and the
whole of SUB-SAHARAN Africa.The annual data released by can testify to
this.The mass exodus of Nigerians of southern origin from this country to
Western Europe,America and now South east Asia to engage in notorious
businesses is nothing but poverty and decay in morality.
The average northerner as most southerners see him is not illeterate,because
he can read and write atleast in AJAMI.The problem of the northerner and by extension the north is that of people and region caught between westernization and Islam,not adhering to any one of them end up been stubbornly tradional and old mordern.
The elite in the north has continue to remain the main cause of the north predicament,by among other things deliberately denying the region people
education,neglect agriculture and abondoned the manufacturing sector.Their
greed and ungodliness have blinded them from seeing the many bold signs on the
Islam the religion of the majority of the north has in no place in it doctrine
encourage staying in poverty,infact,Islam has linked poverty to disbelief.
The history of Islam is that of trade and entreprenuership.Islam comes to
Asia and by means of trade.So the north has no excuse for
staying in poverty.
But Soludo's consolidation excercise does not help matters for the northern
poverty either.Empowering banks to give loan to large multinational corporations
at the expense of the ordinary peasant do nothing to reduce poverty instead it strengthen the elite including the corrupt ones.On the other hand,his challenge to northern elite to open micro-finance banks in their respective villages is well time and will go along way in reducing poverty in the north if adopted.The micro-credit institutions in BANGALADESH is a good example.
Do not for get that we all have our respective problems, the north has poverty in excess,while the south has criminals and other excesses in surplus.We must understand our differences to forge ahead.The same way the level of begging in
the north is not helping matters,large scale human trafficking, in the south,
to ITALY and other part of the world is not;because is a digrace to Nigeria.
You only need to go to countries like South Africa,Italy,Spain and
to understand what i mean.
None of us should forget the number of times the African-Americans have
distanced themselve from ,mostly because of Nigerian stigma.
I will conclude by advicing the federal government to declare poverty in
the north,as well as human trafficking to Italy and crimes like YAHOO-YAHOOING as national emergencies, in addition to the Niger delta.
Published in Daily Trust, August 2008 and also on Nigerianvillagesquare site