The differences in the level of development in the world regions emanates from the regional disparities in the individual country economies. This result in regional inequality within that country; therefore, regional inequality with respect to a country is the eminent disparity between the living standards that apply in that country. It is a hard task to quantify the level of development, prosperity or poverty in a country or region. However, some indicators show the level of development. Across the world, every nation has a challenge in achieving regional development equality, the difference coming in through the degrees of underdevelopment. The most affected nations by the inequality balance rank are the developing third world nations, Nigeria being among them. Nigeria has a rich endowment of natural resources, minerals and able population. However, the country faces a challenge in establishing itself as an economic superpower in Africa and the world at large.
The regional inequality
The basic indicators of regional inequality that influence the development process of a country are quite several. These indicators of underdevelopment include the rate and level of unemployment in the nation. High level of unemployment is an indicator that the country suffers a disparity in the level of development. A country with large unemployment rates indicates that the country has challenges, as the working population cannot produce enough to sustain the large unemployed economy of the regions, hence underdevelopment. An additional indicator is the per capita income in the country and the regions themselves. An analysis of the rates of the per capita income levels in the regions gives a preview of the countries and the region's income generation. This indicates the level of development of the nation or region in the current situation and thus rates the levels of inequality in the country. The unemployment levels and the per capita income are the basic indicators of the level of regional inequality in that country. Most nations use these two as the only measures of indicating the development levels and the differences in equality balance within the integrations in the country.
Other indicators of the disparity in the country include the industries analysis. There are various industries, which a region earns most of its income. Therefore, these form the basis of the economic development in that region. The industry and the rate of development or decline of the industry determine the disparity between the various regions. A region with strong industry, with a steady growing rate will have a stronger economic development thus a higher development level as compared to that with declining industries. Additionally, the level of social development within the regions indicates the disparity within that country. Social aspect of development incorporates factors such as housing, education, quality of the environment and the state of security in the region. The level of education of the people in the region indicates the numbers of the working class with a sustainable source of income. In regions with less development in terms of educational facilities, the country is likely to suffer underdevelopment and poor economy. Similarly, the quality of the housing in the region is an indicator of the status of the people living in that area. An area with high quality housing facilities indicates the high level of development in that region. Consequently, the place with poor housing facilities, such as the shanties and the slums indicates the less working population; hence, the low level of development in that region. The region suffers from large disparity if the gap of the level of housing quality is wide between the regions in comparison. For people to work accordingly, the environment needs to be conducive. Therefore, the quality of the environment is also a pointer of the stage of growth of the region. For instance, a region that has a dry environment means that there is limitation in the industry it can employ. The region cannot have farming if there are no facilities in the region. The environment quality of the region can also be from the aspect of the levels of pollution and associated aspects. The region with high levels of pollution may face hardships in developing to the standards befitting the region. Therefore, the quality of the environment in the region is a sign of the extent of development; hence, the disparity in those regions.
Nigeria has the largest possible ethnic diversity in the West African countries, with about 374 ethnic groups. These groups further divide into majority and minorities along the ethnic lines. The major groups in the country are the Hausa-Fulani who occupy the northern region largely, the Yoruba who occupy the southwest region of the nation and the Igbo who occupy the southeast region. These three groups constitute the hegemonic majority of about 57.8% of the total population. The remaining groups of ethnic minorities constitute different degrees of minority status. The dominance of these three nations further widens the disparity in the nation due to political affiliations and the religious beliefs in the country. Since independence, the country continues to suffer from the diversity of populations caused by several factors. The suffering from the diversity constitutes the vast regional inequality in the country. From the indicators of regional inequality and underdevelopment, there are several causes of inequality in the country. The factors that are costing Nigeria huge sums of money losses and other retrogressive development include the following factors.
The key cause of the crisis in Nigeria is the uneven distribution of resources. The country has a myriad of natural resources that when harnessed can make the nation a super economy power. The nation contains rich deposits of minerals and oil, which many nations that explore the resource develop into economies to reckon. However, the issue in Nigeria that leads to the regional development inequality is that the resources distribution is jagged between the north and the south regions of the country. The south consists of the farming lands; hence, the economic activity is largely agriculture. The north, on the other side, is rich in natural minerals and oil. This forms the basis of all the conflict between the north and south. The north explores the minerals and tries to grow itself, leading to conflicts in the region. These conflicts cost the region a great deal, as it remains underdeveloped. Therefore, Nigeria has regional development inequality between the north and the south due to the uneven distribution of natural resources.
The second cause of the regional inequality is the conflict between the north and the south due to religious differences. A region without peace and harmony cannot succeed; hence, the north region of the country struggles due to war with the south. The south region consists of largely the Christian denomination while the north is largely Islamic. Therefore, the north attempts to establish its superiority in the country by managing the north region. However, the government and the south is largely Christian; hence, it has resources of war with which it destroys the north, limiting the growth of the north region. Therefore, the conflicts between the north and the south cause unequal development as the war usually occur in the north region. The south is relatively peaceful; thus, it can establish itself, growing faster than the north region; hence regional disparity in development.
The long historical regionalism continues to spur conflicts between the ethnic groups in the nation. The country has a vast combination of inter-ethnic conflicts due to the diversity in the nation's tribesmen. The first form of the inter-tribe conflict in the country is between the three principle groups. These three major groups struggle for superiority and power control in the country. They use their large numbers to manipulate the systems in the country, leading to unequal treatment of the communities in line with the tribe in power. The inter-ethnic conflict between these three tribes causes development challenge in the country, with each tribe trying to have the best of all the resources available. The tribe occupying the north region struggles to keep control of the vast territory and creates conflicts with the south regions. The other region, occupying the southwest region conflicts with that in the southeast region, in the struggle for farming land among other resources in the region. Therefore, the three tribes are inter-conflicting, retarding the development rate in the three regions. This is among the worst deterrents to the regional developments in the nation.
Another inter-ethnic conflict in the nation that is retarding the development of the country as a whole unit is the conflict between the majority tribes vs. The minority ethnicities. The three majority tribes comprise over 50% of the nation's population. This makes the remaining over 370 tribes to remain unseen in the national scene level. This fuels the minority tribes to join and struggle to win the available power offices in the country. However, the minority tribes have challenges in this course owing to the rationale that they have a sparse location in the country. Nevertheless, the minority tribes still join powers…