YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY IN NIGERIA (Published)
Unemployment and poverty are both reflective and precipitants of plethora of contemporary societal challenges such as leadership, security, governance, etc. that are inimical to human social – existence (for engendering adequate human capacity building and material utilisation) globally. For instance, the National Bureau of Statistics in Nigeria revealed the alarming rate of youth unemployment which is as much as 50%. Considering the fact that, the current population growth rate is put at 2.8 per annum in Nigeria which accompanies an already national population of over 167 million people. Therefore, the extent to which these challenges possess to the nation is remarkably worrisome in recent times, is the escalating and worrisome rate of youth unemployment which has assumed an alarming crescendo. It is against this backdrop, the paper sees to its justification the need to see to its imperativeness with a view of given cogent attention for their needs. Hence, this paper examines “the intimate connection between unemployment and poverty, and how these two phenomena affect the youth in Nigeria”. In order to fulfill the objectives of this paper, relevant literature were consulted and established database explored for holistic and comparative study, to illustrate the mitigation and enabling factors for the realization of the objectives of youth employment and poverty alleviation if not total eradication in the society – Nigeria. With the aid of content analyses of the materials explored: this paper contend that fundamentally, there is a close nexus between poverty and unemployment with direct bearings on the critical segment of the society, particularly the youth. Also, inspite of the myriad policies and programmes initiated by successive Nigerian government such as National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Schemes in Nigeria, as lofty and laudable as they seem, their inability to affect the real target (youth), reflects the lacuna between policy formulation and implementation. The thrust of this paper therefore is its strong proposition to government at all levels to demonstrate a commitment towards responsive governance, with focus on jobs creation and eradication of poverty. In addition, appropriate authorities should endeavor to sensitize the citizens on the need to embrace birth control measures for the purpose of engendering sustainable development.