The Conference of the Northern States Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture says the myriad of problems facing the North has made it to be less competitive economically in comparison to other regions of Nigeria.
CONSCCIMA chairman, Alhaji Ahmad Rabiu, stated this in Abuja on Friday during a pre-summit media roundtable on the Northern Nigeria Economic and Investment Summit.
The summit, scheduled to begin on Oct. 15, will help to develop a clear and realistic integrated economic revival agenda for the northern economy, as well as advocate peace as a recipe for economic growth and development.
It would also help to review the economy of the region in the light of current national and global realities, define the roadmap for attaining economic rebirth as well as mobilise action for specific roles of all stakeholders.
However, Rabiu lamented that the Northern region, which “is inhabited by over 60 per cent of the population of Nigeria and occupies over 65 per cent of the total land mass,” has a poverty ratio of over 70 per cent.
He said the inadequate development in human, agricultural and mineral resources was responsible for the under-development of the region.
For instance, he said statistics had shown that the Northern region owned and controlled only three per cent of banking assets in Nigeria, two per cent of insurance assets and 10 per cent of industrial assets.
He added that of the 602 microfinance bank licences issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, including those in the Federal Capital Territory, the region had only 149, representing 24.75 per cent.
“In the 2006 Universities Matriculation Examination applications statistics from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Abia State with a population of 2.83 million had 42,693 applications to Nigerian universities, while Sokoto State with a population of 3.69 million had only 2,944 applications.