Health, education and opportunities
Northern Nigeria is one of the least developed places in the world outside of war-torn or post-conflict regions.
With over three-quarters of people in some northern states living below the poverty line and unemployment high, young men are easily attracted into the ranks of militant groups.
Almost all of Nigeria’s 80 million Muslims live in the north and a rise in religious fundamentalism is being blamed for the increasing number of attacks carried out by Islamic militants.
Many believe that the development of social services across the north and better education are the only ways to tackle the problem.
There are already plans to build hundreds of new religious schools across the north. Like the traditional Koranic schools, these will provide a religious education, but will also give lessons on topics such as science, maths and computer skills. Locals hope that with such learning and also in a kind and supportive environment, young people will be less attracted to fundamentalist groups and their ideologies.