Youth Perspectives On Way Out Of Unemployment Issue In Nigeria

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Youth Perspectives On Way Out Of Unemployment Issue In Nigeria


The concept, unemployment is better mentioned than experienced. Our country, Nigeria, is hard hit with the problem of unemployment of youths. This research aims at finding out the effects of youth unemployment to the economy of Nigeria determining the causes and the challenges ahead of them.

At the end of this work it was found out that the effects of unemployment are more of destruction than anything amelioration in the lives of the youths and the economy at large. And in order to curb this ill wind (unemployment) from blowing, measures were proffered such that the government should put up a feasible employment policy, people, especially the unemployed, should engage in entrepreneurship skills/jobs attention should be focused more on establishing industries and consumption of locally made goods than foreign ones, there should not be discrimination of any kind during recruitments for job, and numerous others.

Table of Content

Chapter One


  • 1.1 Background to the Problem
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study
  • 1.7 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

Review of Related Literature

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Overview of Unemployment
  • 2.3 What Is Government Doing About Unemployment
  • 2.4 Why is Unemployment a Big Problem in Nigeria?
  • 2.5 Causes of Unemployment among Youths
  • 2.6 Some forms/Categories of Unemployment by Cause or Source
  • 2.7 Are there Such Things like Underemployment and Over-employment?
  • 2.8 Unemployment among Educated Youths and the Challenges
  • 2.9 Theoretical Framework

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Area of Study
  • 3.3 Population of the Study
  • 3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique
  • 3.5 Method of Data Collection and Distribution
  • 3.6 Sample and Sampling Procedure
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity and Reliability of Instrument

Chapter Four

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Data Presentation and Analysis
  • 4.2.1 Presentation and Analysis of Personal Data of Respondents
  • 4.2.2 Presentation and Analysis of the Substantive Data

Chapter Five

Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • Reference

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria, like most developing countries in the world is faced with myriad of problems such as poverty, terrorism, political instability and most importantly unemployment. In recent years, increased unemployment rate has affected many young school leavers who fall within the working age but have been denied job opportunities. Graduate unemployment in the words of Dabalen et al (2000), accounted for about 32% of the unemployed labor force between 1992 and 1997. This has compelled the Nigerian government as far back as the 1960s to start implementing programmes aimed at tackling the unemployment situation in the country.

Providing employment was made one of the cardinal objectives of the first developmental plan; an objective aimed at not just creating employment but to also to train people in skills that will meet the challenges of an ever dynamic economy. The above was indeed the catalyst for the establishment of a number of employment programmes such as the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Family Economic and Advancement Programme (FEAP), Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP), National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), National Economic Empowerment and Development Scheme (NEEDS) and many other similar programmes funded by various stakeholders like state governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and international organizations like the World Bank and the United Nations.

Unemployment is one the developmental problems facing every developing economy in the 21st century. Agu (2008) pointed out that there has been an exponential increase in youth unemployment in the country. In his words, youth unemployment in the country has caused serious problems that past and successive administrations have not been able to find a lasting solution. Although successive governments in Nigeria since independence have implemented several programmes to address the problem of youth unemployment and poverty, the assessment of the various contributions of such programmes remains scanty compared to the huge amount of resources committed to them (Egware, 1997). In the words of Yakubu (2010), youth employment and poverty alleviation programmes implemented in the last few decades have failed to confront the multidimensionality of poverty as most of these programmes were unable to respond to the exact needs of the poor. Programmes such as the NDE, FEAP, Better Life Programme, NAPEP, NEEDS have all been affected by common problems; such as: inadequate funding, project duplication, gross inefficiency, poor coordination of programmes, corruption, lack of transparency

Nigeria’s current unemployment situation is erratic and falls short of expectations, such that a large percentage of educated, able and qualified citizens cannot secure paid employment (Omotosho, 2009). This indicates that Nigeria over the years has steadily crumbled from its extremely resilient and esteemed position among developing nations (Ipaye, 2008). One of the major concerns of various administrations in Nigeria is the growing rate unemployment in the country and it has consistently formed part of the macroeconomic objectives of the government for the past decades (Omotosho, 2009). According to the World Bank Report (2003), the growing trend of employment and productivity of the Asian Tigers and Japan is responsible for their enviable and brilliant economic performance.

Evidently, the absence of the necessary framework to enhance employment and productivity level in Nigeria is the sole cause of the retarded nature of Nigeria, the acclaimed giant of Africa. The trend and problem of unemployment in Nigeria remain obstinate with a tendency of growing geometrically to the alarming rate of 3 million unemployed youth annually (Adelodun, 2006). The trend of unemployment in Nigeria has a devastating effect on the youths from an extensive gamut of socioeconomic clusters, both the high and less educated, even though it has mainly troubled a sizeable portion of youths from less privilege backgrounds (Ipaye, 2008).

According to Adebayo and Ogunrinola, (2006), unemployment trend in Nigeria touches the job seekers within the ages of 20 – 24 and 25 – 44 years more while there is fewer prevalence of unemployment within the ages of 15 – 19, 55 – 59 and 65 years and above. The rate of open unemployment was 12% in March 2005; it rose to 19.7% in March 2009 while the rate of underemployment hovered around 19% in 1998 (National Bureau of Statistics, 2010). From this point of view, it is apparent that unemployment, particularly the unemployment of young graduates, hinders Nigeria’s progress in so many ways. Aside from economic issue, it also creates eminent danger for political stability of our dear country (Ipaye, 2008). Consequently, massive youth unemployment as it is presently recorded in Nigeria portend a serious multifaceted problems and the threat of unemployment has gradually been acknowledged as a pressing challenges facing Nigeria (Ipaye, 2008, Udu & Ugu, 2005).

According to Umaru and Zubairu (2011), unemployment has been recognized as one of the major impediments to social-economic growth in most developing countries. It reduces the aggregate output of the economy and results in underutilization of human resources. The need to avert the negative effects of unemployment has made the tackling of unemployment problems of feature very prominently in the development objective of developing countries (Omotor & Gbosi 2006). The issue of real output and employment growth in developing nations is a sine qua non for poverty reduction and a more equitable income distribution (Fofana, 2001). Omotor and Gbosi (2006) noted that the seriousness and nature of unemployment in Nigeria is relatively high when placed on the same pedestal with those of other African countries. According to them, in absolute terms; it is estimated that there are presently about 22 million youths unemployed in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Unemployment is one of the serious socio-economic problem in Nigeria and is really a tragic condition that requires urgent and proactive attention. Indeed, it is alarming and worrisome to observe that Nigeria’s graduates who are educated, able and willing to work cannot find a job. The situation is becoming hopeless, as the rate of unemployment keeps rising without any proactive attempt to curb the menace (Kayode, Samuel & Silas, 2014).

A cursory look at the state of the nation, portend more danger with declining likelihoods of young graduates become gainfully employed; going with the trend of events in the country, most especially, the falling oil prices, economic recession, insurgency in the Northern parts of the country among other factors. As a matter of fact, unemployment is one of the major developmental challenges facing Nigeria at the moment. (Obadan and Odusola (2010) have found that the prevalence of unemployment in Nigeria, especially in this 21st century, is getting deeper and more pathetic, spiteful through all faces of age groups, educational level, and geographical spread.

The challenges of lingering youth unemployment are very obvious in Nigeria because every year thousands of graduates are turnout for whom there are no jobs opportunity (Emeka, 2011). Nigerian labor markets are beleaguered with youth hawkers who typically would have found beneficial employment in some organizations (Echebiri, 2005; Uwoma, 2006). Given the large percentage of unemployed youths, the trend of unemployment is capable of destabilizing peace as they portend a serious threat in view of nascent democracy and blatant disregard for party politics (Adepegba, 2011).

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to find out the perspectives of youth on way out of unemployment issue in Nigeria, specifically the study intends to:

  1. Find out the causes of unemployment in Nigeria
  2. Analyze the effects of youth unemployment on Nigeria
  3. Find out the perspective of youths on way out on unemployment in Nigeria

1.4 Research Question

  1. What are the causes of unemployment in Nigeria?
  2. Are there any significant effects of youth unemployment on Nigeria?
  3. What is the perspective of youths on way out on unemployment in Nigeria?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Unemployment in Nigeria has been an issue of interest. A lot of policies and measures have been adopted to control unemployment, because it wastes away the productive years of the active population, moreover, the study will help reduce the declines of our economic growth.

It will provide information to the Nigerian government and youth who ignored agriculture in pursuit of white collar jobs.

Furthermore, it will provide useful information needed by government to fight unemployment and help create employment opportunities in Nigeria. And finally the study will serve as reference material for further studies.

1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

In overall note, this work on youth’s unemployment in Lagos State and their fate in the Nigerian context embraces the situation in all nooks and crannies of the nation but due to some limitations that will be highlighted hereunder in this domain, the study will mostly dwell in Lagos State making use of published and unpublished materials available.

The scope of this research is to find out the perspective of youth on unemployment, Alausa/Ikeja LGA will be used as case study, youth in the LGA will be used as the population for this research.

Finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Correspondents also might not be able to complete or willing to submit the questionnaires given to them.

However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work.

1.7 Definition of Terms

In a bid to facilitate easier understanding and clarity about certain terms in this study the operational definitions within this context are given hereunder.


This is a concept and a situation in which people who want to work and are able to do so are unable to find a suitable job to fit into. For example, graduates who cannot find a good job commensurate with their qualifications.


Fate in this context means what is in hold for somebody which the victims do not know. By fate we mean happenings or mis happenings to someone based on the decision of others aside one.


This is a group of category of people in the age bracket of 15–60, anything below or above this age is not youth. This is sometimes refers to as the active population.


Job simply means one’s work or duty in a particular position or place meant for remuneration.


These are the tasks that one is facing and are meant to be tackled.

Labour market:

This is a meeting point between employers and potential employees for negotiation for work.

Chapter Five

Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion

5.1 Summary

The researcher has been able to focus attention on youth perspectives on wayout of unemployment issue in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos state as the case study.

Well, unemployment is not a new concept in our socio-economic and political life so as to take much a time in explaining much about it but the hydra headed moister has eaten deep into the fabrics of our nation Nigeria, at large. We have noted that the phenomenon “unemployment” as a situation of not finding a suitable job with a commensurate remuneration for the active-willing populace has been a major concern for both the educated and uneducated alike.

5.2 Conclusion

It has been shown, and even a mere look on the street and careful observation without research will indicated, that the effect of unemployment of both disengaged employees and fresh graduates is now one of the greatest problems facing this country, Nigeria. It appears that several developing countries know little about the operation of their own labour market, more particularly the inflow and outflow of workers and the potential ones. And this indicates how they care less about what is happening to the unemployed neither do they plan much for them. Because the methods which they apply to handle this situation is more of recurrent than capital outlay, the fate of the unemployed youths can hardly be determined. No wonder the challenges they are facing now are just a minute of what lies ahead. It then throws fresh light on the socio-economic difficulties of the third world countries and reveals the consequences of their dependence in regard to the developed nations.

Despite these social ills, solutions abound for onward improvement especially if the active population could realize their latent talent and make unending efforts towards self entrepreneurship/enterprise. Like a malignant tumor, this problem has to be nipped in the bud as it is becoming fatal.

5.3 Recommendations

At this juncture, it is never an exaggeration to say that no research is conducted or an investigation carried out in a given area without a problem being identified. As a problem of this kind is found out, solution to it is the nearest thing to proffer when all shall have been examined. Owing to this fact, the researcher owes it as an obligation to recommend some measures or solutions to the identified problems facing youth unemployment and their challenges.

First and foremost, the government at the federal, state, and local levels should as its primary duty put up an employment policy that is feasible.

A number of employment policies will ensure the qualitative and quantitative development of the use of men’s working abilities. This can as well be through social protection or social security-policies and actions which aim to enhance the capacity of the poor, unemployed and the vulnerable groups to escape from poverty and better manage risks and shock.

In order to curb unemployment from soaring high, we must change our attitudes of consumption of foreign goods. We ought to focus more attention on locally made goods and put more efforts on the production of same rather than patronizing overseas products. By so doing more and more hands will be required in the local industries thereby absorbing more of the unemployed who stay idle.

Again, the government and private individuals should as a matter of fact re-dedicate more budgets on the agricultural sector rather than focusing on oil revenue for the development of our land. Agriculture should be made to be attractive to the youths, especially mechanized process of production. It is seen that agricultural practices have been relegated to the background which is not supposed to be.

Youths, especially educated youths should not depend solely on what they studied in school but rather on the activities engaged in while in school and after school. What I mean by this is that we should divert our attention away from paper qualification and put more efforts on what we can make out of the knowledge gathered while in school. This is more of skill and technical know-how.

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