Nigeria to Fight Terrorism With Job Creation, Okonjo-Iweala Says

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, plans to fight terrorism it faces in parts of the north by creating jobs, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

“We are very worried about job creation,” Okonjo-Iweala said today at a conference in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. The country’s 23 percent unemployment rate “is a worry for us,” said Okonjo-Iweala, a former World Bank managing director.

Authorities in Africa’s largest oil producer blame Boko Haram, which calls for the imposition of Shariah law, for bomb and gun attacks in northern Nigeria since 2009. Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” claimed responsibility for multiple blasts and attacks in the city of Kano on Jan. 20 that killed at least 256 people, according to the Civil Rights Congress.

The number of Nigerians living on less than a dollar a day rose to 61.2 percent in 2010, from 51.6 percent in 2004, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a report released on Feb. 13.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Nwanma in Lagos at vnwanma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net

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