Socio-Economic Effects Of Graduate Unemployment In Urban Centres

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Socio-Economic Effects Of Graduate Unemployment In Urban Centres


Graduate unemployment in Nigeria Urban Centres has reached an alarming proportion. This study therefore investigated the socio-economic effects of graduate unemployment in urban centres using Kogi State as a case study. It examined the socio-economic effects of graduate unemployment both on the individual and the society in general, with the view to finding solution to graduate unemployment which will be useful to both government and non-governmental organization. The data for the study was collected through the questionnaire method; the research also interviewed a few highly placed and widely experienced individuals whose valuable contributions enabled the researcher to grasp the tropical development of graduate unemployment in Nigeria since independence. These findings indicate that unemployment is a distasteful experience to the individual unemployed as well as a social problem to the society in general. There are also some economic cost of mass unemployment which include low productivity in the economy. It is not only a psychological blow to remain unemployed over a prolonged period but it may render the individual financially incapable to maintain him or herself and plan for the future. In view of these, it was recommended that effort should be harmonized in order to enhance political stability in the country, corrupt leadership should be discouraged and replaced with good and incorrupt governance both at the local and national level and there should be programme of urban rehabilitation and retaining of the employed.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

In Nigeria, a young graduate would move to any urban centre of his or her choice to seek employment because there are little or no job opportunities for them in most rural areas. People embark on higher education for two reasons.

To improve on their knowledge, character, intellectual and social ability

Secondly and often more obvious is to provide the individual with a source of livelihood.

In his book ‘’Ethics and Politics’’, Aristotle (1978) said that education should aim at self-fulfillment and self-realization and should bring out the best capacity and potential in every individual. He also believed that education should cater for the all round development of its recipient. Thus, education of an individual is beneficial to both the individual and the state. The unemployment issue in Kogi State has being a great concern to successive regimes because of many problem and effect it creates in the society and our social economic structure.

In Kogi State, like other developing states in the country, graduate unemployment is more than mere lack of job; it can mean lack of opportunity, lack of incentive, poor housing and poor health, loss of hope, instability and suicide, occultism, indifference and irresponsibility. It is therefore not purely a private of local concern but social, national and international problem. The unemployment problem in Kogi State like that of other developing states in the country, consists of surplus of some categories of workers particularly the unskilled and shortage of skilled high level manpower.

One important thing to note about graduate unemployment in Kogi State is the length of time for which graduates remain continuously unemployed. The gravity of the unemployment situation at any given time can be gauged partly by examining the duration of continuous unemployment and the higher the number of job seekers the longer the waiting period.

Despite this realization, unemployment in Kogi State as a social economic problem has suffered neglect from successive regimes. This as a result of the narrow perception of the evils associated with unemployment in Kogi State.

The realization of this in Kogi State today of its social-economic effects on the citizens and the need to solve it has forced every regime to introduce it in their yearly budget even though there is yet to be commitment to the implementation of such pronouncement. However, the prevalence of unemployment in Kogi State calls for a new and compelling interest of the administrators.

It is therefore with this scope that this study on Kogi urban centre looks into the implications of graduate unemployment with a view of finding solution to this problem.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

At some point in time, Nigeria’s problem was how to fill the various vacant positions with graduates in the field of medicine, engineering, etc in various establishments as such professionals were drafted from India and other countries to work in Nigeria, but the situation has changed. In recent times, there are now thousands of unemployed graduates roaming the streets. Even those employed are not paid enough to cater for their needs. But this graduate unemployment did not become obvious until 1982, when Nigeria’s first Executive President Alhaji Shehu Shagari announced the oil glut. According to the president, there was sudden and unexpected fall in world crude oil price, leading to a decline in national income.

As a result, government was compelled to reduce its expenditure, which also affected private spending since most private spending depends on government. Therefore, it resulted to ‘’secured employment’’. Instead of employing new hands, the employers of labour started laying off those hitherto. Thus, the employment situation has continued to deteriorate from one transition to the other.

Another problem was that despite all the foregoing efforts of increase the number of graduate, little or no attention was paid to extending the facilities for employing. There was a great awareness on education so many new institutions of higher learning including the number of graduate, yet the employment opportunities are virtually few. This is evident from the development in the Nation Growth Service.

The rapidly growing population due to high birth rate and migration to urban centres is also another problem. Birth rate was getting higher and higher and no significant attempt was made to control it. As the birth rate is going higher, so also the number of youths are increasing and reaching graduate standard. The effects of all this was that graduates soon out-numbered the available employment opportunities resulting to graduate unemployment.

These entire problems constitute to the exploring of this area with the view to exposing all the ugly effects of graduate unemployment and its effect on the individual employed graduate, the family, and the society in general.

The relationship between the wage and the rate of unemployment is another problem to graduate unemployment in urban centres. The wages rate influences both the demand and supply of labour; the amount of labour supplied rises with increase in the wage rate, assuming the backward binding segment of the labour supply curves.

This was further elaborated by Todaro (1969) who said that people’s decision to migrate from rural to urban areas with a view to achieving economic improvement is a function of two major variables. These are rural-urban income differential and the urban unemployment rate which largely determine the probability with which migrants could secure urban employment.

The Todaro model seems to explain the Nigerian situation to some extent; the rural-urban income differential has been in favour urban workers.

Another cause of urban unemployment is the frequent rise in wages which, as we know, may result in a decrease in the demand for labour while there is a positive relationship between labour supply and the rise in wages, the demand for labour is negatively related to wage increase, that is to say an increase in wages may shift the demand curve for labour to the left geographical lop-sidedness, with the urban areas in the southern part of Nigeria bearing the brunt of the problem with the concentration of economic opportunities in certain urban areas especially the capital city or from rural area in Kogi State to the state capital Lokoja.

1.3 Research Hypotheses

  1. Ho: Graduate unemployment does not bread crime in Kogi State
    Hi: Graduate unemployment breeds crime in other social vices
  2. Ho: Both government and non-governmental organization sees this as major problem.
    Hi: Both government and non-governmental organization do not see this as a major problem.

1.4 Objectives Of The Study

The central aim of this study will is spelt out as thus:

  1. To examine the socio-economic effects of graduate unemployment on the individual, friends, relatives and the society at large.
  2. To explain the meaning of urban unemployment, its types and features
  3. To determine the causes of urban unemployment
  4. To make useful suggestions on how urban unemployment can be minimized and if possible eliminated
  5. To provide a useful instruction and instrument for the government in solving graduate unemployment; this is one of the factors threatening our young democracy.

1.5 Significance Of Study

The justification of this study lies in the fact that this is another effort to effect a social scientific evaluation of the extent and cause of graduate unemployment in Kogi State.

This work will also provide insight on the critical problem of graduate unemployment and its various ramifications in Nigeria. It will therefore provide information to non-governmental organizations (NGO) working on the area of unemployment and poverty alleviation.

It is felt that knowledge of facts and their relationship must come before any national policy decision could be made and meaningfully executed. Hence, the present study is a step towards that direction.

This study is also intended to encourage other researchers to carry out research on the urban unemployment questions.

1.6 Scope And Limitations Of The Study

The research deals specifically with graduate unemployment in Kogi State and not unemployment on an international or global scale which is explicitly beyond the scope of this research.

The reason for choosing this area was that Kogi State is represented by virtually many tribes due to its industrial and administrative nature.

This study is designed with consideration for changing socio-economic and political context inherent in our capitalist oriented enterpris, In all, the study tries to understand and explain the socio-economic effect of graduate unemployment on the society individual and youth in Kogi State between (2010-2013).

Also, in the course of this work, the researcher encountered certain problems which constituted limitation to the study.

The major problem is the difficulty in dealing exhaustively with such an all pervading vice as a graduate unemployment in urban centres in Kogi State. Very few want to be indentified as unemployed as its affect them.

Secondly, the Librarian strictly observed a rigid protocol. The table for consultation with library offered the student the opportunity to use the library strictly followed by order. This strictness was exacerbated by the hesitation of the librarian in lending out some materials for consultation.

1.7 Definition Of Terms

Graduate: For the purpose of this work, the researcher will prefer to define a graduate to include any person of any age who has successfully completed a course of study in any recognized university, polytechnic, or any other recognized institution of higher learning within or outside Nigeria, as far as the degree, diploma, or any other qualification obtained also qualifies the holder for the National Youth Service Corps (N.Y.S.C) programme.

Unemployment: According to Encyclopedia America, though the term ‘’unemployment’’ applies in a literal sense to all people without work. It has come to have a more specific meaning in contemporary discussion of social and economic policy. Unemployment therefore refers to only those persons not a at work for more than a specified minimum period of time and who are more able/willing to work and also actively seeking work.

Urban centre: According to Henley (1971), a city is a dense and permanent concentration of people living in a limited geographical area, who earn their living primarily through non-agricultural activities.

Also, to Louis Wirth, a city is a relatively large, dense and permanent concentration of people living in a limited geographical area, who earn their living through work and settlement of socially heterogeneous individuals.

According to Andrew Godwin, this is designed to mean a concentration of evidence to development in terms of social amenities, economic activities, and human interactions with its attendant problems of unemployment, over-crowding and other social problem.

Social problem: Jerome Mcnis (1977) defines social problem as those ‘’social condition’’ identified by scientific inquiry and values as detrimental to the well-being of human societies.

Administrators themselves disagree on what precisely constitutes a social problem. Richard Fuller (1938) gave a widely accepted definition, that social problems present a social condition which is regarded by a considerable number of individuals as undesirable and hence these persons believe that something ought to be done about the situation in a broader explanation of fullers original concept, some administrators see social problems of a condition deemed undesirable by many people about which something can be done through some kind of collective social activities.

1.8 organization of the study

This research consists of five chapters.

Chapter one consists of the introduction, statement of the problem, hypotheses, and objectives of the study, scope and limitations of the study, significance of the study and definition of concepts.

Chapter two comprises literature review including the effects of unemployment in the society, effects of unemployment on individuals, effect of unemployment on youth, and theoretical framework.

Chapter three of the research project deals with research methodology, method of data collection, population of the study, sample and sampling techniques and method of data analysis.

Chapter four comprises data presentation and analysis, respondents socio-demographic data, graduate unemployment problem in Kogi State, then finally, research hypotheses and findings.

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