Impact Of Poverty And Youth Restiveness In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Impact Of Poverty And Youth Restiveness In Nigeria


This research titled, “Poverty and Youth Restiveness in Nigeria was studied with a particular attention to Boko-Haram Insurgency” this research was aimed at ascertaining the causes of poverty, to determine the linkage between poverty and youth restiveness and establish the impact of youth restiveness on sustainable development. The researchers adopted frustration aggression theory to guide the study, while survey research design were used, data were collected and analyzed through a structured questionnaire. The findings revealed that unemployment is one of the factors that cause poverty in Nigeria and also the study indicates that youth restiveness limits sustainable development.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Restiveness among youths globally and those in Nigeria has become a behaviour pattern which has degenerated into a topical global issue. Youth restiveness portrays man’s negative side of social development. This negative development is rather unfortunate and has become one of the many security challenges facing man in the contemporary society. In many occasions, lives and properties worth millions of naira have been lost or vandalized and some razed down by restive youths. Agbara (2010), human society and in fact the entire universe is simply and squarely a complex entity. In view of this, individuals and groups have their complexities, needs, aspirations, hopes, goals, opinions, views and values which could be social, economic, religious, psychological or political.

Consequently, there is bound to be restiveness among different groups of people especially youths who are at their prime age. The term youth has been variously defined. Ndu (2000) and Yusuf (2001) saw youths as neither adolescents nor children characterized by excessive energy that needs to be exerted, which if not guarded, is channeled into negative tendencies. The United Nations General Assembly and World Bank cited in Adewuyi (2008) defined the youth as people between ages 15 to 24 years. In Nigeria, the people within the age limit of 30 years are considered as youths hence they are allowed to participate in the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC). For this research work, the NYSC definition of youth is adopted. Youths are filled with energy and when this energy is positively channeled or guarded, they are highly productive, and hence they are likely to contribute to the overall development of the society. On the other hand, when the energy is negatively channeled, restiveness and its resultant effects are likely to be felt. Onyene (2010) observed that to be restive is to be unable to stay still, or unwilling to be controlled especially because one is bored or not satisfied with certain decisions, changed or existing laws considered to be unfavourable. Youth restiveness involves the combination of actions, conducts and behaviour which constitutes unwholesome, socially unacceptable behaviour exhibited by youths in the society. Youth restiveness has been a device used by the youth to get what they want from the relevant authority. Chika and Onyene (2010) asserted that youth resistance to conditions, issues and unwelcomed leadership regimes dates back to 1934 when Herbert Macaulay floated a political party to kick against dependency with fellow elite youths that had contact with the West. In addition, political parties like the National Council for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC), the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), the Action Group (AG), has their youth wings as vibrant as the other parties. Since then, there has been proliferation of youth association like students’ unions, ethnic cliques and cleavages as well as clannish orientation among students which appear to have legitimized restive reactions among the youths on campuses. The phenomenon of ethnic militia such as the in the Odua People’s Congress (OPC) in the west, in the northern part the Boko-Haram, Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in the East, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in the North and Tiv Youth Organization (TYO) in the North Central, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) both in the South-South. These local forces which chain relevance in crime prevention and control but whose activities are parallel with State recognition are threats to national security. Youth restiveness may be caused by a number of factors. Chukwuemeka (2008) observed that composite unemployment in Nigeria increased from 3.% in 2006 to 4.2% in the first half of 2011. He further stated that structural unemployment results in talents not being used where they are available, hence idle mind is definitely the devil’s workshop. Similarly, Coleman (1996) observed that psychological variables and deprivation is the basic product of conflict and restiveness of any kind. He further argued that the more widespread and intense deprivation is among members of a population, the greater is the magnitude of violence in one form or the other. In the foregoing therefore, one can argue that the unequal socio-economic development of the various ethnic groups in Nigeria led to inter ethnic and intra-ethnic conflicts. For instance, Chukwuemeka, Anazodo and Nzewi (2011) found that dissatisfaction of the people of South-South especially the youths on the level of attention given to development of their region and the damages to their ecology by oil spillage are the major causes of the alarming rate of youth restiveness. Youth restiveness may occur as repraisal attack. For instance, the Tiv youths did a repraisal attack on the Jukuns in Makurdi following the Tiv massacre in Taraba State and in Zaki-Biam by Nigerian soldiers. Chika and Onyene (2010) in their study attributed youth restiveness to adults’ coercive control over their children, denial of participatory opportunities to youths, resource scarcity and financial constraints and leaders failures, peer groups, and foreign interferences. The obvious effects of youth restiveness on the Nigerian society are loss of lives and properties, which constitute a major threat to security of the state as well as its corporate existence. It also discourages genuine economic and democratic development. Strategies employed include mass agitations, protests, demonstrations, looting, vandalism, cultism, ethnic militia, political thuggery among others. This trend of events demands for urgent and timely intervention. Therefore, counselling intervention becomes a compelling necessity for the Nigerian youths. Hence youth restiveness stems from thinking (cognition), the use of cognitive behaviour restructuring is eminent. It is therefore to examine the conception of poverty, establish its link with youth restiveness and perhaps Boko-Haram Insurgency that this research is undertaken.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Recent media reports and personal observations indicates cases of armed conflicts, killings, wanton destruction of lives and properties, kidnappings, lootings, pipeline destructions, among others, in most Nigerian States are as the result poverty and youth restiveness. Disproportionate attention to the security sector by the Nigerian leadership is another challenge to sustainable development.There is also the problem of micro-economic instability, distortions and leakages in the Nigerian economy with the attendant problem of infrastructural constraints and hyper-inflation. The implication of this scenario for sustainable development is that more people are trapped into the vortex of interlocking vicious circle of poverty. This constitutes a dismal performance of the economy with devastating implication for sustainable development in Nigeria.It is in a bid to eradicate this incessant chaos and destruction which has often led to loss of assets, that three research question was formulated to guide this study.

  1. What are the causes of poverty?
  2. What is linkage between poverty and youth restiveness?
  3. What are the impacts of youth restiveness on substantial development?

1.3 Objective of the Study

The objective of this study is to examine poverty and youth restiveness in Nigeria with particular references to Boko-Haram Insurgency: Specifically the study intends to:

  1. Ascertain the causes of poverty
  2. Determine linkage between poverty and youth restiveness.
  3. Establish the impact of youth restiveness on substantial development.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

  1. H1: unemployment is a factor that causes poverty.
    Ho: unemployment is not factor that causes poverty.
  2. H1: there is a linkage between poverty and youth restiveness.
    Ho: there is no linkage between poverty and youth restiveness.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will definitely put the 1cmp on the cake to already exuding literatures of poverty and youth restiveness in Nigeria. Its importance lies in the fact that it is currently a prevailing cankerworm and it is very spontaneous and topical. Moreso, it will act as a guide to the government in their guest the problems associated with poverty in Nigeria.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of this research work is quite broad that it encompasses the investigation of “poverty and youth restiveness in Nigeria‟, a case study of the Boko Haram crisis” from the year 2002 till date. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities

1.7 Definition of Terms

This entails stating the meaning of various concepts used earlier, so as to give a better understanding of the meaning and also give a vivid picture of these concepts in the minds of the readers.


This can be defined as the lack of sufficient resources with which to keep the body and soul together, which often leads to disparity and inequality within societies. It can also be defined as the state of being financially ambalanced which makes the individual unable to associate fully in economic activities.

Youth Restiveness:

This can be defined as a combination of any action or conduct that constitutes unwholesome socially unacceptable and unwortwhole activities engaged in by the youths in any community. It can also be referred to as a desplicable act which is being perpetrated by a significant proportion of youths whose activities have led to a near breakdown of law and order, low productivity due to disruption of production activities.


This can be seen as an unfair discrimination of a group of people, making them feel unimportant and powerless.


As the name implies, this can simply be referred to as the act of defeating a person thereby making the victim to obey the oppressor. It is similar to the term oppressor.


This can simply be put thus; a state of disagreement or argument between people groups, countries e.t.c. it can further lead to war, loss of lives and properties or even outright death if not properly controlled and resolved.

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain poverty and youth restiveness in Nigeria an evaluation of the boko haram crisis

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of poverty and youth restiveness in Nigeria

5.2 Summary

This study was on poverty and youth restiveness in Nigeria an evaluation of the boko haram crisis. Three objectives were raised which included:Ascertain the causes of poverty, determine linkage between poverty and youth restiveness, and establish the impact of youth restiveness on substantial development.In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 residents in selected local government of Borno State. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up village heads,youth leaders,elderly men and students were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

5.3 Conclusion

Youth restiveness in Nigeria has constituted a security problem and can endanger the peaceful co-existence of the country, in the same manner conflict and insecurity can be very havoc to the sustainable development of the country. Poverty, unemployment, lack of access to education among others has driven the youth into restiveness in Nigeria, and has degenerated to the extent that everybody is affected. Moreover, the government is not doing enough to stop the phenomenon. It is pertinent that government should adopt a strategy of curving youth restiveness through empowerment of youth in order to uproot the main causes of social biases and poverty in the country. Until this was done security and sustainable development can never be attained in the country.

5.4 Recommendation

  1. Government should provide functional and free education to the citizens as this will advance the level of country literacy and awareness. Our elites should also be re-educated and re-oriented as they have been accused of causing or employing youth in achieving their political objectives.
  2. Creation of jobs and employment opportunities to our youth would also hinder them from all restive activities as joblessness makes them willing tools in any conflict. Poverty eradication programmes like youwin introduced by Jonathan administration and similar programmes should be continuing at local, state and federal levels. Multinational oil companies should rechannel some of their profits to improve the lives of the communities and rebuilds the environment of those who suffers from the direct consequence of their operation.
  3. This will reduce restiveness demonstrated in form of seizing of oil workers as hostage and vandalization oil pipe lines and destruction of properties

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