AN ANALYSIS OF THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF URBAN UNEMPLOYMENT IN UYO CAPITAL CITY OF AKWA IBOM STATE
1.1 Background of the Study
Employment and unemployment are issues that are central to the social and economic life of every state. Urban unemployment, is seen as one of the serious impediments to social progress, and the need to avert the negative effects of unemployment has made the tackling of unemployment problems to feature very prominently in the development objectives of many urban areas.
Incidentally, most of those unemployed is as a result of influx of rural migrants into urban cities. Thus, it seems obvious to many policy makers that there must be a link between the rural and urban areas. This research work seems to examine urban unemployment with particular reference to Uyo Capital City of Akwa Ibom State.
- Statement of the Problem
The office of statistics put the unemployment rate of Akwa Ibom State at 4.3 percent of the Labour force in 2004, 5.2 percent in 2006, before falling to 4.6 percent in 2008.
From the statistics, in 2004, out of 4.3 percent of the Labour Force, 1.75 percent were rural dwellers while 2.42 were urban dwellers. In 2006, the unemployment rate in rural area was 2.34 percent while that of the urban area was 2.75 percent, before falling to 4.2 percent in 2008 with urban area still leading with 2.05 percent of unemployed rate while rural area with 1.00 percent of unemployed rate.
Among the openly unemployed rural population, almost two-thirds were secondary school graduates. The largest proportion of the unemployed were secondary school graduates both in rural and urban cities. Out of 40 percent unemployment rate among urban youth aged twenty to twenty four, 22 percent unemployment rate were recorded among rural youth within the same age bracket of twenty to twenty-four. Moreover, the educated unemployed tended to be young males and females with few depending on self employed jobs in the urban cities but relatively few in the rural areas. Although, today there are some break through achievement and desirable development in some areas. Certainly the following can easily come to mind.
- The gross insensitivity of the leadership to the plights of the citizenry.
- Lack of industries and companies in Uyo Capital City of Akwa Ibom State.
- Influx of rural migrants into the Uyo Capital City.
- Over dependent on federal and state allocation as the only source of income with little attention on other sector.
- Lack of visionary leadership has been the bane of urban unemployment in Uyo Capital City as far as policies and programmes implementation is concerned.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To determine the level of rural-urban migration and its effect on employment.
- To assess the extent of government policy on urban planning and its effect towards curbing unemployment in Uyo Capital City of Akwa Ibom State.
- To find out how satisfied our few industries and companies help in solving unemployment problems in Uyo Capital City of Akwa Ibom State.
- To also find out how politization of employment leads to unemployment in Uyo Capital City of Akwa Ibom State.
1.4 Significance of the Study
- The findings from the study will be useful to political economists in planning the state for the purpose of formulating policies.
- This study is important also because it will serve as a basis for further research.
- The recommendations made at the end of this study will help to solve the political economy and educational problems if followed properly by the government.
- The information derived from this study will help the state and the Uyo Capital City in particular in devising ways and means of motivating and retaining highly qualified political economist as resource personnel in the economic sector to manage the state economy.
1.5 Theoretical Framework
The study adopts the political economy approach which is not a discipline, but a method of study through the approach seem to wear a look like the Marxist theory of dialectical materialism, it evolved from the foundation of classical political economy but derives its roots from the work of Karl Marx.
Marx, building on the works of Adams Smiths, Ricardo and James Mill attempted to re-establish political economy as a comprehensive social science concerned with not just the management and distribution of social wealth but the class relation and the attendant class conflict which represents a fallout of the realities of social development from one stage to the other.
Buchannan (1984:13) sees political economy as the tools and methods that have been developed to quicken economic theory which are applied to politics and governmental sectors and public economy.
Caporaso and Levine (1992:129). The scholars talk about economic approach to politics, they emphasized two factors, namely Rationality and Efficiency. According to them “Rationality” could be understood when examining concepts like preferences, goals, beliefs, opportunities and actions. On the otherhand, they opined that efficiency has to do with the way resources are used.
Political economy approach seeks to understand what the material assets and constraints needs, how goods are produced and distributed and as well as the type of social relations that are formed with regards to the organisation of production. the approach recognize man’s fundamental physiological need and the fact that man must struggle within a society to achieve his needs and as well identify himself in the society and the group to belong.
The relevance of political economy approach to this study is that it provides the required framework in understanding the very nature of urban unemployment in Uyo Capital City of Akwa Ibom State and the impact of exploitation on social formations which also goes further to explain the unequal social relations in Capital City.
1.6 Research Questions
The research questions that will serve as the basis of this studies include the following:
- Does influx of rural migrants into urban cities give raise to unemployment?
- Does the politization of employment in Uyo Capital City of Akwa Ibom State directly relate to unemployment?
- Does lack of government policy on urban planning result in poor policy implementation directly relate to urban unemployment in Uyo Capital City of Akwa Ibom State?
- Does lack of industries and companies directly relate to unemployment?
- Research Methodology
This is a survey research. The data for the study will be generated through the primary and secondary sources. The primary source will rely mainly on the structural questionnaire which will be used to test the information of this study using chi-square as statistical tool.
The secondary source of data collection will comprise of information collected from textbooks, academic journals, magazines, government document, statistical records and other library materials related to the subject matter of the study.
1.8 Scope and Limitations of Study
The major thrust of this research is on the political economy of urban unemployment in Uyo Capital City of Akwa Ibom State. Attention will be on the major causes of urban unemployment. Though the information in this research is limited to an analysis of the political economy of urban unemployment in Uyo Capital City of Akwa Ibom State, reference would be made to related issues for comparative purpose.
However, in the course of achieving the objectives of the research work, the researcher was challenged with the following constraints or limitations.
- Time: The short span of time appropriated for the research work to be carried out was a major problem. This limited time constraint leads to the researcher inability to access fully from all authorities concern the extent of unemployment in Uyo Capital City of Akwa Ibom State.
- Finance: Finance is very crucial in carrying out any research work, when the general expenses is considered. The high cost of research materials, transportation and printing compare with the slim purse of the researcher hindered the research work.
- Information: The basic and detailed information as well as the research materials needed for effective research materials needed for effective research work were not readily available.
1.9 Definition Of Terms
In the course of writing this research work, the researcher made use of some technical words and concepts, therefore, it is necessary to give a detail explanation to some of these words and concepts. The following are defined thus:
Political Economy: This refers to a methodology for studying and uncovering the impact of the productive system and economic structure on the social, cultural, political and other activities within the society. (Ake, 1981).
Urban Areas: This is defined as any locality with a population of 2500 or more person, whether that locality is incorporated or not.