The problems of unemployment on the Nigerian society, its causes and consequences: A study of Ikom Urban in Ikom Local Government  Area of Cross River State



1.1 Background of the Study

            The problem of unemployment has over the centuries become an area of interest and great concern to government (past and present) and also to every citizen of a particular nation. It is the aim of these nations to completely eliminate or  minimize unemployment in their various nations.

          The menace of unemployment in Nigeria could be said to be a recent occurrence  because in the pre-colonial days, great value and dignity was attached to labour as a means of acquiring wealth because people’s livehood were mainly based on farming. The society then were made up of those who were either hunters, fishermen, farmers etc. while presently every body in the society is moving to the urban areas from the rural areas in search of white collar jobs. When they get to the urban areas, they find out that there is no job, therefore, for them to go back to the rural areas which is their original place, will be a difficult thing for them because they have seen how life is in the urban areas. Based on this, the end now justifies the means because as these people migrate from the rural to urban area and find no white-collar jobs and going back  is not easy, they will result into committing one crime or the other and other social vices which must be detriment to them and even the society at large.

          Onwukwe (2002) argued that unemployment is seen as a situation which exists when members of the labour force wish to work at the prevailing wage rate but can not obtain a job. It is therefore used in the sense of involuntary unemployment, rather than the voluntary decisions on the part of someone to choose leisure rather than work. From above definition, it can be deduced that the unemployment is the stock of all those individuals who are not in employment and who are either in thee process of moving to a new job or who are unable to find work at  the prevailing wage rate. Based on the above definition of unemployment, we can see that some people are the cause of their unemployment, either as a result of their family backgrounds, for instance someone from a rich family may not lie to work in a place where he r she will be paid a low wage but rather he or she will be looking for high wages either if qualified to work there or not.

          The problem of unemployment in Nigeria now appear  to be very much intensified. In fact, it has become conventional to use the rate of unemployment as an index for measuring the health of a nations economy. From observation, the serve of unemployment is a barometer of a country’s economic well being. Due to the intensity of the effects of unemployment, it has  became an electron year issue  in over Nigerian society today and even on the global level.

          In the recent year, to curb the web of unemployment, president Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 introduced the poverty alleviation Programme (PAP) and later in 20001 called it National Poverty Eradication Progarmme (NAPEP) in order to see tat unemployment is reduced to barest minimum. Through, because of its poor implementation, these programmes had not truly achieved the purpose of its establishment either because the people that make up the body or may be these government agencies charged for this duty had used the privileges to enrich themselves and their close friends and relations.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

          unemployment is one of the social problems facing all the local government of the thirty six states in Nigeria. It creates and perpetuates poverty and frustrations. It even aids in the uneven distribution of national wealth. It also contributes to low productivity and lack of economic growth. It equally contributes to an increased level of crime and other anti-social behaviours on our Nigerian societies.

          The federal government of Nigeria had adopted many strategies of eradicating unemployment but it had persisted. This study therefore seeks to find out the problems  of unemployment, it causes and effects using a study of Ikom urban area.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. How does low standard of educational system contribute to unemployment?
  2. How doe rural-urban migration causes unemployment?

iii. How does economic depression cause unemployment?

  1. What are the effects of unemployment on the individual and the society at large?
  2. What are the possible solutions to the problem of unemployment?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

          The aim of this research study is to identify he following:

  1. If actually rural- urban migration causes unemployment.
  2. To know if population explosion causes unemployment
  • To identify what extent does economic depression causes unemployment
  1. Identify the effects of unemployment on the individual and the societies at large.
  2. To identify the rate by which low standard of educational system contribute to unemployment
  3. Recommend ways of alleviating these problems.

1.5 Significance of the Study

          This research work is designed to help educate the government to come up with comprehensive policies or programmes aimed at reducing the rate of unemployment which will in turn lead to reduction in crime rates and other anti-social acts. And is also designed to help the youths and others embark on self-employment without necessary depending on the government for jobs which is not forthcoming.

 1.6 Operationalization of Relevant Concepts

  1. Unemployment: This can be defined as a situation or condition under which a portion of the Nation’s workforce is not economically active, that is either at work for pay or profit.
  2. Rural: This refers to agrarian sitting, which invariably may be lacking many social and infrastructural facilities.
  3. White-collar jobs: This is a employment opportunity for the higher cadre (office employment).
  4. Urban: This is a heterogeneous settlement with a population of twenty thousand or more inhabitants and characterized by predominantly non-agricultural activities and the presence of size-able modern social infrastructures.
  5. Labour: This refers to all human efforts, like physical, mental (intellectual) which may be skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled which are directed towards the production of goods and services.

1.7 Area of Study

          Ikom metropolis has been recognized as an urbanized area for a long time. The indigenes are known for cocoa merchant and  cocoa farming. Ikom  located along Ogoja –Calabar expressway. And so, Ikom as one of the urban area in Cross River State with consequent increase in population of people from other rural areas with the aim of improving he standard of living ie people migrating from rural areas to Ikom urban o Ikom local Government Area in search of well paid jobs.Therefore, population of people in Ikom is increasing at high rate whereas the jobs creation is low.

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