Northerners have refused to take advantage of the ‘educational benefits’ given to them by the Nigerian government, the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El- Rufai, has said.
He specifically said the low cut-off marks needed for admission into northern universities via the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) was making northerners ‘lazy’.
Mr El-Rufai spoke during a plenary session on “Rethinking Sub-National Competitiveness” at the ongoing Nigerian Economic Summit.
These were some of the points he raised when he talked about restructuring the nation on Tuesday.
The members of this session were Mr El-Rufai, Azinge Azinge, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Justin Lin, a Professor of Economics.
“The northerners are at advantage. The low JAMB cut-off mark is making northern youth lazy rather than encouraging them. Despite the advantage of the education in Nigeria, we have the highest number of children out of school,” he said.
According to the United Nations, the huge number of out-of-school children in northern Nigeria poses an enormous challenge.
“For example, Joint Admissions Matriculation Board, (JAMB), gives different cut-off mark for different states and you say you are building a nation, no you are dividing it.
“I am from the north but we have suffered educational disadvantage and the JAMB has given us lower cut-off mark to catch up, have we caught up?