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By Francois De Blois

First released in 1990. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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The population of the North was ................. 6 Nigeria has the largest number of ethnic groups of any state in Africa. The Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo are the largest. 7 As the twentieth century advanced, the British turned to federalism as the best means of responding to Nigeria’s multiethnic reality. The preindependence result was a British-created federation that consisted of three regions corresponding to the building blocks of colonial Nigeria: the North, with its capital at the new city of Kaduna and dominated by the Hausa-Fulani; the East, with its capital at Enugu and dominated by the Igbo; and the West, with its capital at Ibadan, dominated by the Yoruba.

It also fed ethnic resentments. The Igbo early mastered Western business practices and technology and became small traders and mechanics. They settled throughout the country. ’’ In other areas, local politicians interacted successfully with the colonial administration. Those most successful became ‘‘big men,’’ wielding significant power in their localities. The territories once part of Yorubaland and the Oil Rivers increasingly became part of the modern world, while the North remained largely premodern and apart.

Nevertheless, the figures were still bad. 2 percent) lived below the revised poverty line. In the Northeast and Northwest, a disturbing 72 percent of the population lived in poverty. Even in the comparably prosperous South and Delta regions, 27 percent and 35 percent of people fell below the poverty line. 4 Contributing to these remarkable statistics has been the death of the middle class dating from the collapse of the last oil boom in the 1980s. 6 Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita not only is much lower than the average in sub-Saharan Africa but also has decreased substantially below what it was 1970.

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