The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, has decried the high rate of illiteracy in the northern part of Nigeria.
According to him, the situation is totally unacceptable if the region must catch up with other parts of the country.
The Emir made his position known on Saturday, at an education conference which took place in Kaduna state.
He also blamed the British colonial education policy in pre-independence Nigeria, as one of the factors most responsible for the education backwardness of northern Nigeria.
Speaking further, the Emir, identified key areas which the northern leaders must address to overcome their challenges.
They include: birth control, re-examination of social policies, and making maximum investment of funds for education.
While correcting the notion that northern traditional rulers and the Islam religion, are against western education, Sansui also stressed that any governor or leader that fails to give priority to education and healthcare is simply implementing the anti-north policy of the British colonial masters.
He believes that the high rate of illiteracy, poverty and insecurity in the region if left unchecked, is both detrimental to its citizens as well as the country in general.
The traditional ruler then appealed to governors and other leaders from the region to invest enough funds into education and healthcare services for the future of the younger generation.
On the other hand, a member of the Northern Elders Forum and former Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Ango Abdullahi, says the current socio-economic challenges in the north, where over 15 million children are out of school and 62 per cent of graduates are unemployed, calls for serious concern for leaders and citizens of the region.
He also emphasised the need for leaders to invest more in education and other sectors of the economy; for them to be able to catch up with other parts of the country.
Also speaking at the gathering was the Kano state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who equally relived the patrotism and commitment of the leaders of the region in the past, and noted that only education of the citizens will pull the region out of its present state of poverty and backwardness.
Blessed with large land mass and population size, as well as abundant mineral deposits, participants at the summit came to a common agreement that northern Nigeria has no reason to be poor.
The new resolve according to them is therefore for the people as well as the leaders, to go back to the visions and dreams of the founding fathers whose tenure brought about unity and development of the region in the past.