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1.1 Background to the Study

Unemployment is one of the fundamental developmental challenges facing Nigeria at the moment. Research have shown that unemployment was high in the 1980s, but the available reports from various local and international bodies, and the glaring evidence of joblessness in this decades are clear indications that there was no time in Nigeria’s conquered history where unemployment is as serious as now. One cannot really conclude that the government at one level or the other has not done anything at one time or the other, to reduce unemployment in Nigeria. For instance, the creation of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and its skills acquisition programmes, National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP), just to mention a few, are some of the various intervention mechanisms aimed at ensuring economic growth that is rich with job creation opportunities. Besides, the Federal Government over the years has been claiming strong real GDP growth rate measuring at 6% or 6.5% since 2005 till date (Aganga, 2010 and Ogunmade 2013). This is apparently a paradox, a situation whereby, there is a decade of strong real GDP of 6.5% economic growth, and in the same period, unemployment rate continue to rise annually from 11.9% in 2005 to 19.7% in 2009, and over 37% in 2013% (Aganga, 2010 and Ogunmade 2013). The apparent economic growth has not lead to economic development. The rate of poverty is still very high, the industries are still in shambles, technological development is till at rudimental stage, income inequality is high, immortal mortality rate and child mortality rate is high, and in fact, Nigeria development index is still very low.

Unemployment according to ILO, is among the biggest threats to social stability in many countries (including Nigeria), putting the global rate at 12.6% (ILO, 2012). When compared with her counterparts in the continent, Nigeria’s unemployment crisis is more serious. For instance, South Africa’s unemployment rate is currently standing at 25.2%, and in Ghana is about 14% in 2010, while Nigeria is around 37%. Recent statistics by the World Bank has put the unemployment rate in Nigeria at 22 percent, while the youth unemployment rate is 38 percent. The report shows that the bracket age of 15-35 years olds account for close to 60 percent of the Nigeria’s population and 30 percent of the work force. The report also indicates that approximately 4 million people entered into the labour market every year (Subair, 2013).

This situation is pathetic considering the fact that the country that is blessed with a lot of human and natural resources capable of providing employment for the teeming youths in Nigeria. As noted by the World Bank report, the youth holds the key to achieving the Vision 20:20.

Therefore the objective of this research work is to examine the magnitude and dimensions of unemployment in Nigeria and its implications for socio-economic and political development in Nigeria. This work undertook a qualitative research to answer these and many other questions begging for answers using secondary sources (government publications, journals, Local and international statistical reports and live TV broadcast). The content analysis was utilized to analyze the data collected from these instruments.



1.2 Statement of the Problem

Working with the data from the national bureau of statistics, it indicates that the national unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2007 was 14.6%, compared with 13.7% in 2006. The urban and rural rates were 14.4% and 15.0% respectively compared with 10.2% and 14.8% in 2006. Further analysis showed that the distribution of unemployment ranged from 14.1%vfor the age group of 25-44 to 23.5% for the age group of 65-70. Desegregation according to geopolitical zones showed a very uneven distribution with the south-south zone having the highest unemployment rate of 29.5% and south-west at the rear with 8.5%. Between these extremes were the north-east with 18.5%, south-east 18.1%, north central 15.8% and north-west 14.2%. In recent time, the problem of unemployment in Nigeria has become bothersome, as statistics has shown that this variable is at the upward trend daily.

Unemployment rose sharply in the country from less than 5 percent in 2010s to about 14 percent, 19.1percent and 23.9 percent in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. Job placement for young school leavers becomes very difficult if not impossible.

It is based on the increasing problem posed by unemployment on individuals and the nation at large that government has been embarking on various policies to control and reduce unemployment but yet has not yielded any positive result; rather it seems to be escalating. Drastic measures must be taken by government to curtail this problem of unemployment. The statement of problem is based on the economic, social and political effects of unemployment

1.3 Research Questions

  1. Is there any relationship between unemployment and economic growth?
  2. What are the implications on socio-economic and political development?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The main objective is to examine the rising unemployment on Nigeria economy.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To determine the relationship between unemployment and economic growth in Nigeria.
  2. To determine the implications of unemployment for socio-economic and political development.

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis One

H1: Unemployment affects economic growth in Nigeria.

Hypothesis Two

H1: Unemployment does not effect on the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is to make research on the effect of unemployment for most qualified graduates of various institutes of learning and also qualified skilled labour. This study will benefit the following groups: government policy makers, other researchers

  • Government: The result of this study will provide useful information needed by government to fight unemployment and help create employment opportunities in Nigeria. The result of the study will also bring out the areas that need improvement and make suggestions for improving on them.
  • Policy makers: To show to investors and the general public that the state of the country has undergone a lot of changes.
  • Other researcher: This study will be an invaluable tool for researchers, research institutions and the general public that partake in foreign trade who wants to know more about the rising unemployment and its implication in Nigeria.
  • Students: Student also will find it very useful in some research work on project issues by boosting their knowledge about rising unemployment and its implication in Nigeria. Those who need referencing materials on rising unemployment and its implication in Nigeria will find this study useful.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is centered on rising unemployment on the Nigerian economy implication. The research work is also centered on thirty four years duration from 1980-2014. The regression analysis was also based on the use of time-series data extracted from the central bank of Nigeria statistical bulletin. The methods of analysis used in testing the hypothesis are the t-test, f-test etc.

1.8 Organization of the Study

The research consists of five chapters. Chapter one is the introduction, Chapter two covers the literature review, which lays the theoretical foundation. Chapter three deals with the research methodology; while chapter four presents Data Presentation and Analysis. Finally, chapter five contains the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations.


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