1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
According to United Nations (2016), youth unemployment is the unemployment of young people between the ages of 15–24 years old. An unemployed person is defined as someone who does not have a job but is actively seeking work. In order to qualify as unemployed for official and statistical measurement, the individual must be without employment, willing and able to work, of the officially designated ‘working age’ and actively searching for a position (Furlong, 2012).
The Nigerian economy since the attainment of political independence in 1960 has undergone fundamental structural changes resulting to structural shifts which have however not resulted in any significant sustainable economic growth and development to ensure adequate employment opportunity for her youths (Emeh; Nwanguma and Abaroh, 2012).
Over time, the roles of the youth in national development have been. As they continue to play pervasive roles in nation building, the youth by definition have been regarded as that segment of the population from 18-35 years (National Policy of Youth Development, 1999) who are characteristically active, vibrant, daring and with useful energies. The development of the Nigerian nation from pre-colonial to independent and post-independent era has been attributed to vital contribution of the youth. Despite their positive roles in national development, they constitute the most critical and volatile segment of the society. The worsening economic situation in Nigeria from the austere periods to the SAP and Post-SAP era has threatened the collective psyche of the youth. General unemployment, lack of consistent policy framework for youth development, general economic hardship among others have thrown the youth into joblessness, agents of social vices and general idleness. As their conditions worsen, they have been used as agents of political thuggery and general misadventure. Moreover, they have become the major agents in social conflicts with diverse and devastating consequences in the nation. As their negative and pervasive roles continue to impact on the economy, several strategies of youth empowerment have been evolved over time. The strategies have, however, yielded little or no results as their activities have consistently imposed serious threats to social security, truncated economic activities and severe drainage of national income.
Youth unemployment is becoming an increasingly troublesome issue in many parts of the world. In Nigeria, it has become one of the most serious socio-economic problems confronting the country. The magnitude of this can be appreciated if accurate statistics could be obtained from the Federal Bureau of Statistics on the number of unemployed youths roaming the streets of Nigerian cities.
For most developing countries like Nigeria, Governments and policy makers are increasingly finding it difficult to grapple successfully with youth unemployment. This high rate of unemployment can be blamed on the lack of adequate provision for job creation in the development plans, the ever expanding educational growth and the desperate desire on the part of youths to acquire University education irrespective of course and course contents. As a result, a number of skills acquired from the University appear dysfunctional and irrelevant (Okafor, 2011).
In Nigeria, the federal government in 2008 acknowledged that about 80 percent of Nigeria‟s youth are unemployed and 10 percent underemployed (Daily Trust, 2008). In 2011, the Minister of Youth Development, Bolaji Abdullahi reported that 42.2 per cent of Nigeria‟s youth population is out of job. Depo Oyedokun, the Chair of the House Committee on Youth and Social Development revealed that of the over 40 million unemployed youths in the country, 23 million are unemployable and therefore susceptible to crime, hence the need to articulate what could be done to salvage the situation. The pace is increasing because most graduates lack relevant marketable skills.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Youth unemployment is a growing challenge of selected local government areas in Akwa Ibom State as well as the nation as a whole. Policies to tackle youth unemployment have tended to focus on how youth are different from other workers. They are less skilled; less experienced and have very limited business contacts. Thus skills training and vocational education constitute the majority of interventions to date. However, many of these training programmes have had disappointing outcomes. Youth unemployment in Akwa Ibom State is a multi-dimensional problem that needs to be addressed on macro basis. Youth unemployment is more of a demand side problem. There are not enough jobs to go round. Increase in the demand for labour will move the economy along the demand curve, thereby increasing wages and employment. The demand for labour in an economy is derived from the demand for goods and services. If the demand for goods and services in the economy increases, the demand for labour will also increases. This may be described as classical unemployment. Youth unemployment can be reduced if the following interventions and recommendations are creatively implemented in the selected local government areas.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To examine the impacts of unemployment on youths development and nation building in selected local government areas of Akwa Ibom State.
2. To find out the causes of unemployment in Nigeria and how it has impeded the economic development.
3. To identify those factors that will directly or indirectly improves employment of youths.
4. To assess effect of unemployment on youth development to Nigeria economic.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the impact of unemployment on youth’s development and nation building in selected local government areas of Akwa Ibom State?
2. What are the causes of unemployment in Nigeria and how it has impeded the economic development?
3. What are those factors that will directly or indirectly improves employment of youths?
4. What are the effects of unemployment on youth development to Nigeria economic?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The impact of unemployment on youth development and nation building is such an interesting subject or study; it is believed that the outcome of this research work will be of interest to the nation, state and to each local government to showcase the need for adequate youth employment which would be as a prerequisite to the national development. The research work will provide them with vital information which will enhance an efficient and effective national development; it will also provide the knowledge on some of the major challenges facing unemployment in Nigeria. This research work will also serve as a vital material to those who may want to carry out further research work in this regard.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to selected local government areas in Akwa Ibom State which includes Uyo, Itu and Ibesikpo Asutan local government areas and upon the subject of the study which centre on the impact of unemployment on youth development and nation building.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study limitation was inability of management of selected local government areas to divulge certain information which they consider sensitive and fear of publication which might be detrimental to their operation.
Distance and its attendant cost of travel in order to obtain information which to write this study was also a major limitation. Another limitation to the study is short time factor which did not give time for thorough research work, hence gathering adequate information becomes very difficult.
Finally, lack of materials on the topic; this is new in the area of unemployment on youth development and nation building. Therefore, the researcher resolved to seek friendly approach in order to obtain the needed materials or information from the organizations under study through the administration of questionnaire.