Youth Capacity Building, Key To Poverty Alleviation In The Niger Delta Region
1.1 Background of the Study
For Sub-Sahara Africa to stand among the nations of the world it must be able to take entrepreneurship development and employment importantly. Most importantly the youth are the machine that will propel development and transformation. They are an important facet of industrial growth and development of a nation. Since the 1980s, unemployment has continued to remain one of the most cancerous socio-economic problems inhibiting the progress of Nigeria, as a nation and Sub-Sahara Africa. Unemployment is apparently one of the major causes of social vices such as fraud, kidnapping, armed robbery, destitution, prostitution, terrorism, political thuggery and so on. With the labour force of approximately 3 million people annually moving into the labour market, unemployment of persons of 15 years and above was put at 3.8% and youth unemployment estimated at 5.0%, as at 2006 (Osibanjo, 2006). There is therefore need for capacity building of youths for them to be able to contribute positively to the development of the economy by engaging in entrepreneurial activities.
The Niger Delta region is one of the richest areas in Nigeria with an enormous contribution to the national revenue. According to Babatunde (2012), the Niger Delta region alone contributes over 85% to the Nigeria Gross Domestic Product (GDP) both in oil and gas. It also contributes more than 95% of the Nigeria’s foreign exchange and 85% of the country annual income. Despite the enormous contribution of the Niger Delta to the Nigeria national revenue, the region yet experiences underdevelopment in both infrastructure and human development. Also, the region capacity to produce over 2.5 million barrels of crude oil daily (Ezeamalu, 2014) puts Nigeria as number one in the hierarchy of oil producing countries in Africa and 11th in the world (Okpo & Eze, 2012).Furthermore, the presence of crude oil in the region has attracted many oil multinational companies that engage in oil exploration. It is, therefore, expected that the presence of the multinational oil companies in the region should impact on the socioeconomic well-being of host communities through their corporate social responsibility. Unfortunately, there is nothing to show for it. The youths in the Niger Delta region therefore needs to be empowered as this will help in reduction of unemployment, poverty alleviation, human development and entrepreneurship.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite the huge volume of natural resources and years of oil boom in the Niger Delta region, there is still high rate of youth unemployment, and also poverty which is the major reason most youths engage in committing crimes. The proliferation of criminals, thugs, cultists and social vices in the society can be traced to the high level of neglect by the government to put up developmental programs that are targeted at building the capacity of the youths for them to be able to generate income. Politically, Lack of Political Will on the side of our political leaders have been a more hindrance to entrepreneurship development and reduction of unemployment in Nigeria (Onwubiko (2011). The neglect of vocational/technical education has been robbing the nation of the potential contributions of its graduates to national growth and economic development. It is in view of this need for youth capacity building to eradicate poverty that necessitated this study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The following are the objectives of the study:
- To examine the role of youth capacity building programmes in poverty alleviation in the Niger Delta region.
- To examine how vocational and technical education serves as capacity building tool that can help to eradicate poverty among youths.
- To examine out the constraints to youth capacity building in the Niger Delta region.
- To examine the prospects of youth capacity building in the Niger Delta region.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated based on the objectives of the study:
- What is the role of youth capacity building programmes in poverty alleviation in the Niger Delta region?
- How does vocational and technical education serve as a capacity building tool that can help to eradicate poverty among youths?
- What are the constraints to youth capacity building in the Niger Delta region?
- What are the prospects of youth capacity building in the Niger Delta region.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study is significant in the following ways:
- It will help in revealing the role of youth capacity building programmes in poverty alleviation in the Niger Delta region.
- It will make known the need to utilize technical and vocational education of youths to alleviate poverty in the Niger Delta region.
- It will help in identifying the challenges to youth capacity building and the prospects of youth capacity building in the region.
- The study will also serve as a useful reference material for other researchers seeking related information.
1.6 Scope of the study
This study covers Youth capacity building, key to poverty alleviation in the Niger Delta Region (A case study of selected communities in Akwa Ibom state). Also included in the scope are:
- Four variables as listed in the research questions.
- The use of questionnaire as instrument of data collection.
- Use of descriptive statistics
- Fifty respondents
1.7 Limitations of the Study
The study was limited by the following factors:
Inadequate funds affected the way data were collected since the researcher had to travel long distances for the distribution of the research questionnaire forms.
This affected the reduction in the size of the sample used for the study because the researcher had less than two months to complete the study.
Shortage of relevant materials for literature review posed a great difficulty. The study was also limited to the information gathered from primary and secondary records.
1.8 Organization of the Study
In this research study, the researcher took a critical look on the strategies for managing the survival and growth of SMEs, a case study of selected SMEs in Uyo Urban. The research work was divided into five chapters.
Chapter one was on the background of the study, as well as statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, statement of hypothesis, significance of the study scope and limitation of the study, organization of the study and definition of terms.
Chapter two reviewed the related literature on the subject matter and contributions of different authors.
Chapter four takes care of the data presentation, analysis and interpretation as well as discussion of findings.
Chapter five (5) encapsulates the summary, findings, conclusion and recommendations made by the researcher.
1.9 Definition of Terms
The process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that organization and communities need to survive, adapt and thrive in the fast changing world.
The state of not having enough money to take care of basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing
To make something such as pain or hardship more bearable or less severe.
Dishonest exploitation of power for personal gain.
The condition of having no job.
An amount of money given to somebody on the condition that it will be paid back later.
Difficulty or suffering caused by a lack of something, especially money.
A person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.
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