THE PROBLEMS OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT AND RURAL CRIME IN NGOR OKPALA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF IMO STATE
The research project was carried out in Ngor Okpala L.G.A of Imo State on the problem of youth unemployment and rural crime. The research is aimed at providing vivid and extensive insight on a wide range of the fundamental aspects of youth unemployment and rural crime. In this light very decisive steps were taken to analyse as possible all manner of issues enshrined in the study and understanding of the problems of unemployment and rural crimes in the lives of Ngor Okpala youth. In carrying out this study survey research design was used. Four research questions and hypothesis were formulated. The sample of 150 males and females was selected by probability random sampling techniques. The instruments for the study where the interview method and questionnaire containing nineteen open question, which were validated by the supervisor, the mothers were the respondents. The analysis of data was by use of frequency tables, percentages and chi-square. The major findings of the study were:
Youth unemployment and armed robbery are related.
There is a relationship between youth unemployment and drug abuse.
The unemployment situation is the brain behind burglary in Ngor Okpala
Rural unemployment leads to youth gambling.
The government should provide job opportunities and also ensure an equitable distribution of resources. The gap between the rich and the poor can be narrowed by creating employment opportunities for the citizens, provision of cheap food and shelter and ensuring that education is no longer a privilege but a right in these rural areas.
2) Achieving industrialization by establishing many industries in rural areas of Ngor Okpala, this will create more employment opportunities and reduce the high rate of rural crime.
3) Social amenities should be provided to rural areas especially in this area of study (the people of Ngor Okpala) because this is also a way of creating jobs and it will make many school leavers in the area to accept to work and reside in their rural homes without thinking about committing crimes.
4) There are empty lands in Ngor Okpala, what the government needs to do is to use them to encourage labour-oriented industries, production in the industries that will be established in order to achieve industrialization in our societies should be made labour-intensive instead of total use of machines. By so doing it will create an avenue for the rural youth to get employment and the rate of crime will be reduced.
5) Restructuring our educational system, pre-vocational courses like mechanics, electronics, woodwork, metal work, etc should be taught; these will make our educational products to be job-creators instead of job-seekers.
6) The government should ensure that there is equal distribution of wealth, political participation, economic activities and resources because there is a saying that “what is good for the goose is also good for the gander”. They should ensure that development is a multifaceted thing and not a one sided phenomena, the rural areas should be recognized to avoid crimes.
7) Most rural areas especially Ngor Okpala is traditionally based on agriculture and they take agriculture as their source of economy. So, the government should make agriculture more attractive. This can be done by developing agriculture and those in it should earn more wages, salaries so that it can attract the youth and at least create rooms for more jobs and the high rate of rural crime will be a thing of the past in Ngor Okpala LGA of Imo State.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE PROBLEM
The problem of youth unemployment and rural crime has over the years become an Area of interest and great concern to most nations of the world. It is the intention of this nations to completely eliminate or at least minimize youth unemployment and rural crime in their various nations.
The menace of youth unemployment in Nigeria could be said to a recent occurrence because in the pre-colonial days great value and dignity was attached to labour as a means of acquiring wealth but now the end justifies the means. Even if unemployment existed it was not the intractable problem it is today.
According to Balogun (2010:82), he opined that of Nigerian’s 150 million population 40 million are unemployed. As 45% of the population is between the ages of 15 to 40 years this means unemployment mainly affect the youth. The Nigeria ruling class is incapable of solving this problem, only the working class can take on the task of eradicating youth unemployment and rural crime
Balogun (2010), argued that it is estimated that over 3 trillion naira has been spent since 2003 just to combat youth unemployment and rural crime. The question is where has this money gone and why does the menace still persist to solve the problem, the government buy a few thousand pepper grinding machines or five thousand bikes and distributes these to hungry youths numbering millions. These methods gives rise to massive corruption and provide room for political patronage. This methods also has been used for close to 10 years now and what has it been able to achieve or deliver?
With the extent of human and national resources Nigeria possesses, she ought not to know any poverty, let alone this extent of youth unemployment and rural crime.
According to Chigunta (2002:89) these large-scale unemployment among youths is encouraging the development of street youths in Nigeria. the street youths, denied of legitimate means of livelihood, grow up in a culture that encourages criminal behavior in rural and urban areas where they engages in various activities such as petty trading, casual work, stealing, pick pocketing prostitution, touting and other illegal activities.
Ngor Okpala is a local government area of Imo state Nigeria, its head quarters are in the town of Umuneke Ngor. It has an area of 56Ikm and a population of 159,932 at the 2006 census. Ngor-Okpala is a notable place in Imo state because of her locational position. Ngor Okpala is the largest local government in Imo state and one of the largest in Nigeria.
Ngor is the fastest developing local government in Imo state. Ngor Okpala is blessed with natural mineral resources which has not been tapped. This prominent status of Ngor Okpala as a state local government Areas and its consequent of population explosion and the problems of youth unemployment and rural crime makes it unique for this study.