This study examines Unemployment and Crime Rate in Nigeria: A correlational Study from 1980 to 2017. Faced with the problem of ever growing population and fewer jobs in Nigeria, the study was guided by the following objectives; To determine the crime rate in Nigeria; To determine if crime can be minimized using employment as a tool; To understand why youths are the major class involved in crime; To investigate the reasons for increase in unemployment from 1980 to 2017 in Nigeria.  

The study employed descriptive and explanatory design, questionnaires in addition to library research were applied in order to collect data. Primary and secondary data sources were used and data was analyzed using statistical package which was presented in frequency tables and percentage. The respondents under the study were 28 employees of National Bureau of Statistics, FCT Abuja. The study majorly focused on phases and components of Unemployment and Crime Rate in Nigeria: A correlational Study from 1980 to 2017t.  

The study findings revealed that there is a significant impact Unemployment has on Crime Rate. Chi-square significant at 0.01 level (2-tailed), 0.00 indicates the significance of interaction between two variables an indication that the significant is under the range of 0.0 and 0.05.  

Using the above findings, it implied that there is a strong relationship between Unemployment and Crime Rate. Key recommendations from the study are; The government  should invest  massively  in agriculture and    also    encourage youths    into    this    direction.; youths should be encouraged to be  creative  and  learn different vocational skills. By so doing, they will be job-providers  and  not  job  seekers.  Vocational  and  technical education should be vigorously pursued.; To  reduce  youth’s unemployment  in  the  nation, entrepreneurship  education  should  be  incorporated  into the curricula of secondary and tertiary schools. Doing this will also turn the graduates into job-creators and not job-seekers.; To  combat  soaring  youth  unemployment,  government should  create  an  enabling  environment  for  industries  to survive. A  situation  where  companies  that  are  supposed to employ the youths are closing down is not good for the country.  and Corruption is endemic in Nigeria. It has permeated the entire  fabric  of  the  nation.  Funds  that  could  have  been used to establish employment generation ventures by the government     are     either embezzled,     diverted     or misappropriated.  .  



1.2 Background to the Study

Unemployment is a heinous social issue which comprises a risk to any country. The loss is not just only economic, however socio-psychological since unemployment brings about high tension and feeling of sadness in human societies (Oyebade, 2008). For young people, the impacts of unemployment might be especially frightening. This is on the grounds that; it entices or incites the young people to depend on hostile anti social practices which are antagonistic to the communities. As the intermediate population group in any nation, the young people are essential asset for country building and the huge means of socio-economic development. Aside from being the leaders of tomorrow, they are more than the middle age and the aged (Onyekpe, 2007).

Youths also represent an important stakeholder in the society and constitute a major part of the labour force. Through their creative and innovative capacity, a nation makes giant stride. However, in the absence of regular income and means of livelihood to ensure life sustenance, the frustration of unemployed youths could be transformed into criminality in the society. In Nigeria, the manpower structure of the country today, clearly reveals a massive unemployed youths. Awogbenle and Iwuamadi (2010) detailed from the available information provided by the National Manpower Board and National Bureau Of Statistics, FCT Abuja that Nigeria has a young people with about 80 million population, this is about 60 percent of the total population of the nation and from this, 64 million of them are unemployed while 1.6million are underemployed. Relatedly, Doreo (2013) after this pattern larger part of Nigerians are under utilized in 2015, likewise demonstrated that the unemployment rate in the nation is moving at the pace of 16 percent in every year with the young people affected most and representing three times the general unemployment. Basically, the enormous youth unemployment circumstance has constrained countless number of the nation’s most beneficial labour to be excess.

A vast majority of these youths are energetic and possess the capacity for work, yet they are found roaming the street daily and searching for jobs that barely exist (Obaro, 2012). The present situation of youth unemployment in Nigeria is a reflection of general decadence that has plaqued the country for long and a consequence of several factors. Most notable among these factors are; over dependence on oil revenue to the neglect of agricultural sector, implementation of high sounding unviable policies, high profile corruption among the politicians and bureaucrats and the type of education that is being given in secondary and tertiary institutions, which is oriented towards wage employment and bereft of entrepreneurship development (Awogbenle and Iwuamadi, 2010; Murphy, 2008; Alanana, 2003 and Fapohunda, 2003). Successive governments in the country have introduced various programmes to fight unemployment in order to curb criminal behaviours.

It is on record that all the efforts made by governments have not had any huge effect on unemployment (Omorodion, 2010). Thus, the impunity in the commission of crime is linked to youth unemployment in the face of economic insecurity and work-worried life in which most of the youths have found themselves in the country. Given the prevailing intensity of youth – unemployment and upsurge of criminality, it is surprising that only very few studies have documented the relationship between the twin social phenomena in Nigeria.

In conclusion, most of the past researches have concentrated mainly on the impact of general unemployment on the country's economy. Consequently, this study intends to explore the reasons for unemployment and kinds of criminal practices carried out by the unemployed youth in the nation. It further investigates the impacts of criminality on jobless youths and communities and the relationship between youth unemployment and criminality in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Nigeria is faced with the challenge of chronic youth unemployment for a long time now which is why it has become necesary to look into the causes of unemplyment, reasons why it is prolonged and the necessary recommendations that can bring about job opportunities for the youth and everyone who is within the age of employment. A great numbers of people are graduating from the colleges and higher institutions of learning each year with no employment opportunities available. Hence Nigerian streets are littered with youth hawkers who ordinarily would have found gainful employment in some enterprises; or would have demonstrated their skills and resourcefulness if there are enabling environments and reliable management structures on ground. 

The resultant impact of this is the move in the "way to make it" (financial opportunity), which has driven such huge numbers of young people into Cybercrime prevalently known as '419' and internet related frauds called yahoo-yahoo, dating frauds and so forth. Despite the fact that this is an inappropriate utilization of mechanical development however it end up being the following available choice open to adolescents and youthful school leavers and more seasoned ones the same who have been jobless for quite a long time without thinking about the repercaution or perils included. 

The issue in this way is most Nigerian graduate youths who are employed are under employed, or doing the jobs that are not meant for them going by their area of study and specialization. So many graduate unemployed youths find themselves employed as factory workers, hawking in the traffic/highway roads, selling in the markets, serving at mama-put and small scale food vendors all in the bid to make ends meet and not to be inactive. These kinds of jobs being carried out by graduates lead to disappointment, aggression, frustration and eventually "stale mind", it is of no surprise that they utilize available choices of fraud and internet datings. This problem therefore gave rise to the topic unemployment and crime rate in Nigeria: a correlational study from 1980 to 2017. It plans to explore the reasons for unemployment in Nigeria, to discover the impacts of unemployment in the country the roles of government and individuals on unemployment and job opportunity.

1.3 Objectives of the Study 

The objective of this study is to examine unemployment and crime rate in Nigeria: a correlational study from 1980 to 2017. However, the specific objectives are:

i) To determine the crime rate in Nigeria

ii) To determine if crime can be minimized using employment as a tool

iii) To understand why youths are the major class involved in crime

iv) To investigate the reasons for increase in unemployment from 1980 to 2017 in Nigeria

1.4 Research Questions 

The following questions were generated during the course of this study

i) What is the crime rate in Nigeria?

ii) How can crime be minimized using employment as a tool?

iii) Why youths are the major class involved in crime?

iv) What are the reasons for increase in unemployment from 1980 to 2017 in Nigeria?

1.5 Significance of the Study 

This study is very significant in country like ours, where there is an ever increasing unemployment and youth crime rate, it significance can be seen in the following areas. 

This study will assist policy makers in making sound policies for the youth. It will also help in crime prevention and control. It will provide an insight on the importance of Job creation and youth empowerment as well as innovation and creativity for the youth. Academicians will benefit through applying the information containing this research. Scholars especially in criminology will benefit from this research and its contents. Lastly, this literature can enhance research on this field and relative field of study.

1.6 The Scope of the Study

This research work was limited to unemployment and crime rate in Nigeria from 1980 to 2017. It covers around the youth and criminal activities that can be traced to unemployment. The researcher will be mainly concerned with youth, employment and crime issues. 

1.7 Limitations of the Study

The limitations of this study include: 

1. The paucity of Time limited this research greatly

2. Finance was not sufficient for this research.  

3. Type of reach is purely academically and may not suffice in wider scope.

4. The lassie faire attitudes of most of the respondents affect this study.

1.8 Definition of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of carrying out this study:

Unemployment: is a phenomenon that occurs when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work

Youth: The UN, for statistical consistency across regions, defines 'youth', as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years

Crime: an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law.



2.1 Conceptual Review 

2.1.1 The Concept of Crime

Crime is like other concepts in social sciences, which have no generally accepted definition. According to Oxford Dictionary of Sociology (2009), “a crime is held to be an offence, which goes beyond the personal and into the public sphere, breaking prohibitory rules or laws, to which legitimate punishments or sanctions are attached, and which requires the intervention of a public authority… for crime to be known as such, it must come to the notice of, and be processed through, an administrative system or enforcement agency. It must be reported and recorded by the police (or other investigator); it may then become part of criminal statistics; may or may not be investigated; and may or may not result in a court case.” Dambazau (1994) defined crime as an act or omission against public interest and which is prescribed by law enacted by the legislature in the overall interests of the society, and to which prescribed punishment is attached in the event of violation and it involves four major principles which are public wrong, moral wrong, law and punishment for the criminal. Crime is also seen as a violation of the rules agreed to be respected by all members of the society, and upon which the rest members of the society mete sanction upon those guilty of the violation. It is for the same reason that the legal system views crime as a public and moral wrong.

The prevalence of crime in the world today is a cause for serious concern for all and sundry. It undermines the social fabric by eroding the sense of safety and security. Crime impacts on society in a variety of ways according to the nature and extent of crime committed. It constitutes a problem when its incidence is as rampant in the society as to constitute a threat to the security of persons and property, as well as social order and solidarity (Onoge, 1998).

Crime is a threat to the economic, political and social security of a nation and a major factor associated with underdevelopment; because it discourages both local and foreign investments, reduces the quality of life, destroys human and social capital, damages relationship between citizens and the states, thus undermining democracy, rule of law and the ability of the country to promote development.





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