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This research on ‘Effect of unemployment on the economic development of Nigeria, on Nkanu West Enugu State. The research work objectives to: identify factors that cause unemployment in Nigeria, investigate the extent to which government has helped in tackling unemployment problems in Nigeria, determine programmes that can help to tackle unemployment problems in Nigeria. The researcher adopted both primary and secondary means of data collection. The population of the study was randomly selected as 234 in number and the sample size is 148. The Taro Yamane’s formula was used, while chi-square was adopted in testing the hypotheses. The research work also made the following findings; the research study reveals that Unemployment impedes economic development in Nigeria, it was also discovered that Epileptic electric power supply, poor quality of education, Negligence of Agriculture and Corruption is among the causes of unemployment in Nigeria, Nigeria is at its lowest ebb in human capital development and utilization because of its inadequate educational system which tends to produce more of those who lack job skills for employment than those the economy requires to remain vibrant. It was recommended that the government should invests more on industrialization in to absorb Unemployed graduates, the government should be more efforts in making our electric power supply more steady which will enhance development of the Nation.



1.1     Background of the Study

As history would have it, Nigeria as a nation has experienced several forms of economic, political and social unrest. In recent times, unemployment which is caused by individuals and government forces had joined the list of the social evils we experience in Nigeria today. The issue of unemployment has become a world-wide phenomenon demanding for increased attention, though the impact is more devastating in developing nation (Wamukonya, 2003). According to the National Bureau of Statistics (2012), Nigeria rate of unemployment stand at 19.7%. In fact, Feridum and Akindele (2006); George and Oseni (2012); Ezie (2012) and Ede, Ndubisi, and Nwankwo (2013), identify unemployment as one of the major challenges confronting the Nigeria-economic development. The menace of unemployment in Nigeria both now and in the recent past has been an issue of great concern to the economists, policy makers, economic managers, individuals, government and many others (Bello, 2003). This earliest thinking on economic issues did not fail to give a central point of reflection on the undesirability of unemployment (Njoku and Ihugba, 2011). Unemployment has been defined as a situation where people who are willing and capable of working are unable to find suitable paid employment (Fajana, 2000). The same writer went further to say that, the higher the rate of unemployment in an economy, the higher the level of poverty and associated welfare challenges.

However, the number of people in any country is divided into two groups; the economically active and the economically inactive. According to Njoku and Ihugba (2011), the economically active group (Labour force) are the group that are willing and able to work, including those actively engaged in the production of goods and services (employed) and those who are not employed. On the other hand, the economically inactive group refers to neither people who are not looking for jobs nor those who are not capable enough as a result of health related issues. To further buttress this, International Labour Organisation (ILO) define the unemployed as numbers of the economically active population who are without work but available and seeking for work, including people who have lost their job and those who have voluntarily left work (World Bank, 1998).

The menace of unemployment is geometrically increasing and the effects falls heavily on the economic development of this nation (Nigeria). Njoku James, Eze (2011) noted that consequences of unemployment in Nigeria is not only that it has increased the rate of crime in the country, but has also affected the economic development of Nigeria. They stress further, that individuals who were meant to be economically active and contributing towards the economic development of the country are not be active in such work.  This work therefore, considered to study the effect of unemployment on the economic development of Nigeria, using Nkanu West Local Government Area as a case study.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

There is an increase of unemployment level in Nigeria and at such can only be addressed by combined efforts of both individuals and the government of the country in particular and the world at large to formulate a lasting solution to it. Unemployment in Nigeria has affected the youth and the economic development of the country from a broad spectrum of socio-economic perspective. It is obvious that unemployment especially that of graduates impedes Nigeria’s progress in several ways. Apart from the economic waste it brought to the nation, it also constitutes political unrest for the country (Ipaye, 1998).

 According to Ezie (2012), the unemployment situation in Nigeria is disturbing and even more disheartening that the country’s economic condition cannot absorb an optimal proportion of its labour force. This situation has contributed to the increase in crimes and other social vices experienced in our society in recent time, because an idle mind is always the devils workshop.

Another problem facing the employment situation in Nigeria centered on power generation (i.e. epileptic power supply hinder small scale growth and at the same time scares youths from venturing in small scale business among other things). The poor power generation in Nigeria has contributed to the level of unemployed people. Despite all the efforts made by both the past and present administration to salvage the problem of epileptic power supply, the country has experienced little or no change. Since the problem of power cannot be tackled, the industries, institutions and agencies which are expected to provide the much needed employment flaw out of the country for some better opportunities, thus leaving our work force unemployed. This research work is determined to address some of these challenges through its recommendations.

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