PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION STRATEGIES AND YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IN KOGI STATE, NIGERIA 2000-2010

ABSTRACT

Poverty has been described as the unacceptable living standard orchestrated by absolute lack of basic amenities of life, clothing, and lack of proper food, lack of portable drinking water, Unemployment and poverty have been the greatest challenges of the Nigerian government, especially, the Kogi State government. This led to lack of empowerment for the youth which posed threat of insecurity to nuclear families of Kogi people, the government at all levels and entire citizens. All efforts by Kogi State government since 2000 have not actually yielded much positive results. Unemployment has been persistent, despite the government’s efforts in tackling it with all kinds of institutionalized policies, decrees/acts and other enabling laws/enactments, such as National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP), National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS), and government’s Public Service Reforms. These have not really ameliorated this geometrically increasing problem of the government which has direct negative effect on the development of the state. This study embarked on determining the effects of the strategies employed by Kogi State government on youth unemployment in the state. Survey design methods were applied in our data gathering for the primary and secondary sources. The primary sources were questionnaires, interviews and participant observations. While the secondary sources included books, journals, government official documents on unemployment and poverty reduction programmes, other documents and internet materials. Data were analyzed using frequency tables, percentages, regression analysis and Chi square. The interventionist programmes of the Kogi State government played positive impact and they have been very effective in the development of the state. In the course of our research, we discovered that many strategies were employed by the government of Kogi State to create employment opportunities and alleviate poverty. For instance, many of the unemployed and the youth, especially, those who were trained in skill acquisition were gainfully employed. The government granted soft loans to some of these unemployed through micro finance banks. Useful suggestions on possible ways of expanding employment opportunities and poverty alleviation were adduced.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

1.1: BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY.

Youth unemployment has become one of the major problems facing Nigeria today. Despite the fact that the country occupies the sixth position as oil
exporter in the world, its poverty and unemployment levels are getting higher (FOS 1999). One of the effects of unemployment is the lack of empowerment of the youth over the basic means for ensuring their survival (Usman, 2000). This situation has generated several forms of insecurity within the family, community and the country at large.
Unemployment and poverty go hand in hand (UNDP, 1998; Obasanjo, 2000). Bovillognet (1986), also posits a relationship between poverty and
unemployment especially where household income and consumption are determined by the formal and semi-formal economic activities of the members
of the family. Large-scale structural unemployment among the youth is one of  the most unfortunate fallouts from the nation’s socio-economic and political crises. The situation is so disturbing that the federal government decided to tackle it in various ways. In 1986, the federal government under the leadership of General Babagida set up a committee on the strategies for dealing with the nation’s mass unemployment. The government, based on the outcome of the committee’s investigation with two strategies.
a. Skill acquisition training b. Small-scale enterprises promotion.
In 1999, the federal government under Obasanjo, mounted what was called an Ad hoc employment strategy. In line with these efforts, the present Nigerian government led by His Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan, has attached an increased priority to the issues of Youth Employment especially with the creation of the ministry for Youth Development.

Furthermore, the issues of human capital development and employment generation have been equally prioritized in the National 7-point Agenda, based on its policy thrust. In Kogi State, the government of Alhaji Ibrahim Idris has been quite mindful of the global strategy for youth development as some of the structures put in place are in line with the objectives of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), African Union, New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), the Federal Government of Nigeria’s National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) 7-point agenda and the Kogi State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (KOSEEDS). KOSEEDS Document is guided by the following policy thrusts.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION STRATEGIES AND YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IN KOGI STATE, NIGERIA 2000-2010

 1. It is aimed at economic growth, human development and improvement in service delivery.

 2. Priorities are on projects that will generate employment, creation of wealth and reduction of poverty. The core sectors identified are in the areas of Agriculture, small and medium enterprises, youth empowerment, creation of youth skill acquisition centre in each LGA (KOSEED 2004).
In view of the above policy thrust the Kogi State government established the experimental skill Acquisition centre in Lokoja, the state capital and in each of the 3 senatorial districts (Kogi East, Kogi Centre and Kogi West senatorial districts).

Furthermore, as part of measures to sensitize the youths for the challenges of youth empowerment scheme, over 3,000 (three thousand) you hs were given a stipend of N4, 000.00 each. The essence of the above was to provide for the beneficiaries in terms of their feeding and logistics in the course of acquiring practical skills for self-employment in area of their chosen trade. The Government also distributed keke NAPEP, tricycles and tractors to the youths across the 21 local government area in order to facilitate transportation and agricultural development among the youths. Besides, because neither the government nor the private sector can single handedly drive development, the Kogi state government exploited the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative all for the purpose of engaging the youths for a positive venture. 

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The rate of unemployment among all the categories of school leavers in Nigeria has attracted the attention of both the government and the society in
general. The structural unemployment particularly among Nigerian youth, is one of the most unfortunate fallouts from her socio-economic and political
crises. Based on the foregoing, the Nigerian government, over the years, has not been insensitive to the problem. The federal government had launched a number of unemployment alleviation programmes.

These include Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), Green Revolution (GR), Directorate of Food, Roads, and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), National Directorates of Employment (NDE), Poverty Alleviation Programmes (PAP), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS). These are some of the programmes which various governments in Nigeria have been making efforts to solving the problems of both poverty and unemployment. The federal government equally adopted a number of other strategies that were intended to further produce farreaching effects on youth unemployment. These other strategies include Skill acquisition training; Small-scale enterprises promotion; Wealth Creation, and Ad-hoc employment programme. The goal of these strategies is to solve th 

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION STRATEGIES AND YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IN KOGI STATE, NIGERIA 2000-2010

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