The research project was carried out in Ngor Okpala L.G.A of Imo State on the problem of youth unemployment and rural crime. The research is aimed at providing vivid and extensive insight on a wide range of the fundamental aspects of youth unemployment and rural crime. In this light very decisive steps were taken to analyze as possible all manner of issues enshrined in the study and understanding of the problems of unemployment and rural crimes in the lives of Ngor Okpala youth. In carrying out this study survey research design was used. Two research questions and hypothesis were formulated. The total population for the study is 200 staff of ministry of labour and productivity, Imo state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up labour officers, inspectors of factories, senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.
The problem of youth unemployment and rural crime has over the years become an Area of interest and great concern to most nations of the world. It is the intention of these nations to completely eliminate or at least minimize youth unemployment and rural crime in their various nations. The menace of youth unemployment in Nigeria could be said to a recent occurrence because in the pre-colonial day’s great value and dignity was attached to labor as a means of acquiring wealth but now the end justifies the means. Even if unemployment existed it was not the intractable problem it is today. According to Balogun (2010:82), he opined that of Nigerian’s 150 million population 40 million are unemployed. As 45% of the population is between the ages of 15 to 40 years this means unemployment mainly affect the youth. The Nigeria ruling class is incapable of solving this problem, only the working class can take on the task of eradicating youth unemployment and rural crime.
Balogun (2010), argued that it is estimated that over 3 trillion naira has been spent since 2003 just to combat youth unemployment and rural crime. The question is where has this money gone and why does the menace still persist to solve the problem, the government buy a few thousand pepper grinding machines or five thousand bikes and distributes these to hungry youths numbering millions. These methods gives rise to massive corruption and provide room for political patronage. This method also has been used for close to 10 years now and what has it been able to achieve or deliver? With the extent of human and national resources Nigeria possesses, she ought not to know any poverty, let alone this extent of youth unemployment and rural crime.
According to Chigunta (2002:89) these large-scale unemployment among youths is encouraging the development of street youths in Nigeria. the street youths, denied of legitimate means of livelihood, grow up in a culture that encourages criminal behavior in rural and urban areas where they engages in various activities such as petty trading, casual work, stealing, pick pocketing prostitution, touting and other illegal activities. Ngor Okpala is a local government area of Imo state Nigeria, its headquarters are in the town of Umuneke Ngor. It has an area of 56Ikm and a population of 159,932 at the 2006 census. Ngor-Okpala is a notable place in Imo state because of her location position. Ngor Okpala is the largest local government in Imo state and one of the largest in Nigeria. Ngor is the fastest developing local government in Imo state. Ngor Okpala is blessed with natural mineral resources which have not been tapped. This prominent status of Ngor Okpala as a state local government Areas and its consequent of population explosion and the problems of youth unemployment and rural crime make it unique for this study
Youth unemployment and rural crime has been a threatening menace in Ngor Okpala as a whole, thus it has become necessary to give full attention as regards how to curb this ugly trend. With over 40 million Nigeria youth effectively unemployed in a population of 150 million, no doubt Nigeria has one of the highest youth unemployment in the figure of the world despite her economic potential. This situation clearly reveals its social essence when we consider it against the fact that Nigeria has 45% of her population between the ages of 15-45 years and due to the extremely low life expectancy of 45 years. However, Nigerian youth are the hardest hit by this menace of employment. With this figures in mind, it does not need the wisdom of Solomon to clearly understand why there is so much crime, spates of kidnapping, youth unrest and most significantly an extremel unstable social economic structure that has hitherto been bedeviling Nigeria with particular reference to Ngor Okpala. It is one of the major social problems facing all societies in Ngor Okpala. It creates and perpetuates poverty and frustration and even aids uneven distribution of national wealth. Mores, it also contributes to low productivity and lack of economic growth it gradually contribute to increase in the level of crime and other anti-social behavior in the communities and societies especially in Ngor Okpala local government of Imo State. As a result of unemployment the youth went into different rural crimes like robbing cars on roads leading to different villages in the local government. Nevertheless, in my community Umuhu in Ngor Okpala local government there are recent cases of unemployed youths who engage in crimes like drug abuse and intake of marijuana, and this motivates them to unleash havoc on innocent villagers . Also, they go ahead to steal domestic animals and disrupt rural market in disguised theft. There are also reported cases of these individuals raping young innocent girls and also committing incest taboo and other abominable acts. Consequently, the above is against the culture of the people of Umuhu community and Ngor Okpala local government of Imo State. This menace known as youth unemployment and rural crime is potentially dangerous as it sends disturbing signal to all segment of Ngor Okpala local government area of Imo State and Nigeria at Large.
1.3 PURPOSES OF STUDY/OBJECTIVES
The main objective of this study is the problems of youth unemployment and rural crime. But for the successful completion of the study; the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;
1. This study generally investigate the problems of youth unemployment and rural crime with particular reference to Ngor Okpala local government of Imo State.
2. To describe the extent of youth unemployment and crime in Ngor Okpala local government of Imo State.
3. To determine crimes that is traceable to unemployment.
4. To examine the strategies employed by the government in combating the problems of youth unemployment and rural crime in the location of study as well as the effectiveness of control mechanism employed.
5. To proffer solution and recommendation to the problems of youth unemployment and rural crime in Ngor Okpala local government of Imo State.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
Ho1: There are no problems of youth unemployment and rural crime in Ngor Okpala local government
Hi: There are problems of youth unemployment and rural crime in Ngor Okpala local government
Ho2: There are no crimes that are traceable to unemployment
Hi: There are crimes that are traceable to unemployment
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of benefit to the government of Imo state and the unemployed youth. The study will come up with idea to settle unemployment issue in Ngor Okpala local government. The study will also be of great benefit to the researchers who intends to embark on research on similar topics as it will serve as a guide. Finally, the study will be of great importance to academia’s, lecturers, teachers, students and the general public.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the problems of youth unemployment and rural crime. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
YOUTH: Youth is the time of life when one is young, but often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is also defined as "the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young"
UNEMPLOYMENT: Unemployment is a phenomenon that occurs when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work. Unemployment is often used as a measure of the health of the economy. The most frequently measure of unemployment is the unemployment rate,
RURAL: Rural is the official term: rural education. It may be used subjectively and usually in a favorable sense: the charm of rural life. Rustic, however, may have either favorable.
CRIME: An action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.