UNEMPLOYMENT AND ITS EFFECTS ON NIGERIA YOUTHS: A CASE STUDY OF IBESIKPO ASUTAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF AKWA IBOM STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Current World Population include an estimated 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years, which is about 24.7% of the world’s working age population. Worldwide youth unemployment is high, almost three times higher than the adult unemployment rate. With the economic downturn, the worldwide youth unemployment is expected to reach 25% in 2012 (International Labour Organisation, 2008).
In certain parts of the world, especially Sub-Saharan, African, youth unemployment rates can be as high as 60%. More than one third of the young people in the world are unemployed, have completely given up looking for a job or are working but still living below the $2 a day poverty line (International Labour Organisation), or have migrated. Young job seekers face increasing difficulties finding work in the current economic scenario and these have resulted in several social phenomena in the society.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous country in the world with a population of 154, 729,000 citizens. Our nominal GDP is $207.166 billion and we have a nominal per capita income of $140,011. Nigeria also has the second largest economy in Africa, if I may ask, is this country not blessed? Yet, it is still plagued by youth unemployment which had been one of our major problems in recent years. Both government and the private sector had discussed this issue at forums and conferences but have not found a solution to it. Its continued existence has been linked to lack of power supply and financial empowerment for youths.
Youth unemployment in Nigeria is mostly referred to as graduate unemployment and this means that only the skilled youths are seen as unemployed while the unskilled youths are not given any consideration. However, youths are not a homogenous group and their employment prospects differ according to numerous factors ranging from region to gender to schooling. These phenomena have pushed the Nigerian yoiuths to a stage of anomie and they have adopted dysfunctional methods, such as: armed robbery, prostitution, terrorism, kidnapping, thuggery, militancy, internet scam, fraudulent acts, and so on, in order to cope with the increasing trend of economy meltdown in the country.
This research will x-ray how the impact of unemployment in Nigeria has severely affected youths, using a case study of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The study will examine the rural and urban population of people living in the area responses to unemployment predicaments and their differential variables.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government is an area with an increasing population of 137,100 thousand people, (National Planning Commission, 2006). The population is growing at a very fast rate with large unemployment youths living together in the population. Due to high level of unemployment in the Local Government Area, people have adopted dysfunctional methods such as pick-pocketing, kidnapping, assassination, political thuggery, prostitution, defrauding and so on, in order to provide themselves with income and enhances their societal survival.
People living in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area see these dysfunctional methods as an alternative to their unemployment status in the area, as the government have failed to provide the unemployment opportunities needed as one of the basic necessity in life.
Base on the above statements, many questions arise like, why is the rate of unemployment at an alarming rate in Ibesikpo Local Government Area; despite the area richness in mineral and natural resources, and what are the destructive effect of these social phenomena to the people of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area?
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study will provide answers to the following research questions;
- What is the extent of youth employment in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area?
- What are the consequences of youth employment in the area?
iii. How is the Government tackling the unemployment plague in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area?
- In what ways has the unemployment rate relates to the high rate of social vices in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area?
- What are the effects of youths unemployment in urban and rural areas of the Local Government.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The Main objective of the study is to critically examine how unemployment can affect the outcome of youth social behaviour and characteristics in the society. In line with the statement of problems, the study will also seek to achieve the following minor objectives:
- To investigate the effect of unemployment on youth activities in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.
- To unravel various social phenomena that unemployment is the causative factor in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.
iii. To review Akwa Ibom State Government strategies concerning youth unemployment in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.
- To find out the different variables between urban and rural youth unemployment in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.
- To help provide various methods to reduce youth unemployment in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.
1.5 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESES
Two hypotheses will be tested in this study. These include:
- There is no significance relationship between unemployment and youth activities.
- There is no significance effect between unemployment and social vices in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be beneficial in many ways; it will serve as a tool for further research work for other researchers who will endeavour to carry out research in the same field in future. The study will help government to provide profer solutions as regard unemployment and its effects on youths in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area in particular, and Nigeria as a whole. It will further help scholars towards the advancement of knowledge, such as reference material, term paper topic, symposium and seminar presentation.
The study will serve as a guide and important tool in the fight against high level of unemployment. It will also serve as a base or premises for other researchers to challenge, amend, and provide corrections to the research work. The study will provide answers to various arms of governments in Nigeria about unemployment and its causative factors in the society, especially the youths.
1.7 LIMITATION/SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will be restricted to Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government, which comprises urban and rural areas. It will restrict itself to one urban centre of Nung Udoe. And rural areas like Obot Idim, Okop Ndua Erong and Obio Aduang.
The study will familiarized itself with various conceptual words, such as unemployment, types of unemployment, youths, Nigeria, Ibesikpo Asutan, poverty, kidnapping, armed robbery among others.
The study will adopt Anomy Model postulated by Emile Durkheim as the theoretical framework for the research.
1.8 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
Various researchers have conducted research works on unemployment and its effects on youth in the society. For instance, International Labour Organisation (2010) found out that 35 countries for which data exist, nearly 40% of job seekers have been without work for more than one year and therefore run significant risks of demoralization, loss of self-esteem and mental health problems. More importantly, young people are disproportionately hit by unemployment.
Also in a study conducted in the United States of America (U.S.A) by Thooker (2011) shows that unemployment in the U.S currently stands at an eye-popping of 9.6%. There is 4 out of 10 Americans who want to work but unable to find a job. The situation is particularly affect the citizens who have been out of work for a long time and have therefore lost unemployment benefits that have expired. This situation has forced American government to budget more on social welfare packages for these unemployed youths, and therefore, causing strains on the other sectors of American economy.
White and Wyn (2004), postulates that unemployment is a single factor that affects young people, their families and communities. Today, youth unemployment has become a serious issue all over the world; approximately half of the unemployment group is of youth.
In Nigeria, Awogbenle and Iwoamadi (2010) concluded that youth unemployment was an impeding factor of developing economies. They argued that the situation had become more pathetic for hunting jobs not only for experienced and educated youth. They suggested juveniles to be self-employed through entrepreneurial process rather than to serve others.
Base on the above literature, non of the studies have given comparative analysis concerning unemployment and its effects on youths in contemporary Nigeria.
This is why I had decided to focus my consequences on the contemporary societies using a case study of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
- DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS UNEMPLOYMENT
In economics, unemployment refers to the condition and extent of joblessness within an economy, and is measured in terms of the unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployed persons divided by the total civilian labour force. Hence, unemployment is the condition of not having a job often referred to as being out of work, or unemployed. The history of unemployment is the history of industrialization