1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria is endowed with rich human and natural resources. In terms of agricultural productivity, it could be said that the whole of Nigerian economy was at a point in time entirely dependent on revenues generated from the agricultural sector. Even today, when this sector contributes a very marginal portion of the GDP and national income, vast number of people, especially in the rural areas completely depends on it for their livelihood and sustenance (CIA World Book, 2011). A combination of many forces, most notable among them being corrupt and inefficient political leadership at both national and local level contrived and destroyed Nigeria’s economy over the decades (Meredith, 2006, p. 580). Nigeria’s economic and social status gradually reduced in Africa as well as in the world. Even the method of implementation of Democracy has greatly contributed to a high rise of poverty rate in Nigeria; which in turn revolve into increased crime rate.
Despite the efforts of the Nigerian government to reduce poverty, corruption and crime, obviously the rate is still alarming. The growth of crime level in Nigeria especially in recent times has become one of the major social problems facing the country. The dominance of crime in developing countries increases the volatility of issue, for it pyramids one fear upon others (Ahmed, 2012). Schaefer (1989) defined crime as a violation of criminal law which its formal penalties are applied by some government authority. Crime according to Bazau (1994) is something which offends the morality of society, or that violates the divine law. Poverty generally, is a state in which a person cannot afford basic needs such as, food, clothing, shelter, good health care, mental and physical participation etc.
Poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to; not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living on marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation (United Nations, 1998).
With the fact that Nigeria has failed to transform the economy in spite of huge oil earnings in the last two decades manifests itself in the rising level of unemployment in the country. But an idle hand will definitely be occupied by vices. This increasing rate of unemployment has led to poverty which in turn promotes crime rate in Nigeria. To tackle poverty and crime rate in Nigeria, the government will need to strategically plan towards several schemes that can keep an average Nigerian busy and earn a fair living.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Year in year out, every political aspirant in Nigeria has the generation of employment as one of their manifesto including several proposals on how this can be achieved, this is yet to be proved after about fifty years of existence.
Also, in recent times, some government and private bodies have taken up empowerment of different forms to help Nigerian citizens out of the dilemma of poverty and crime. Good enough, empowerment and employment have a very high prospect of greatly reducing poverty and crime in the nation.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this studies is to examine the way in which youth empowerment and employment can be a best means to alleviate poverty and crime in Nigeria.
The objectives are:
1. To examine the rate of poverty and crime in Nigeria
2. To determine if youth empowerment or employment can alleviate poverty and crime in Nigeria.
3. To analyze why the government have not really tapped into this method to reduce poverty and crime.
4. To determine whether the Nigerian government alone can fight poverty and crime.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the level of poverty and crime in Nigeria?
2. Can youth empowerment and employment actually alleviate poverty and crime in Nigeria?
3. Have the Nigerian government really tapped into youth empowerment and employment to reduce poverty and crime.
4. Can the Nigerian government alone fight poverty and crime?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research will look critically into the effect of youth empowerment and employment as the best means to reduce poverty and crime in Nigeria. Even though the government have tried several schemes to empower and employ its citizens, in the short run, such schemes fail. This study will analyze how the government can strategically and continuously work towards planned schemes to save the nation from poverty and crime. This study will also serve as a background knowledge for further research works.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The idea of the research work is to decipher if actually youth empowerment and employment can alleviate poverty and crime in Nigeria, even though the government have been trying to meet up with several schemes to curb it. This research will cover the government’s methods and the citizens’ response to the fight against poverty and crime in Nigeria.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
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. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Crime: this is an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.
Unemployment: this is defined as people who do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and are currently available for work (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Poverty: this is the scarcity or the lack of a certain amount of material possessions; such as food, clothing, shelter, good health care, education, etc. or money.
Corruption: this is a dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.
Employment: is a relationship between two parties, usually based on a contract where work is paid for, where one party, which may be a corporation, for profit, not-for-profit organization, co-operative or other entity is the employer and the other is the employee.
Empowerment: A management practice of sharing information, rewards, and power with employees so that they can take initiative and make decisions to solve problems and improve service and performance.
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