1.2       Background to the Study

Unemployment is a heinous social issue which comprises a risk to any country. The loss is not just only economic, however socio-psychological since unemployment brings about high tension and feeling of sadness in human societies (Oyebade, 2008). For young people, the impacts of unemployment might be especially frightening. This is on the grounds that; it entices or incites the young people to depend on hostile anti social practices which are antagonistic to the communities. As the intermediate population group in any nation, the young people are essential asset for country building and the huge means of socio-economic development. Aside from being the leaders of tomorrow, they are more than the middle age and the aged (Onyekpe, 2007).

Youths also represent an important stakeholder in the society and constitute a major part of the labour force. Through their creative and innovative capacity, a nation makes giant stride. However, in the absence of regular income and means of livelihood to ensure life sustenance, the frustration of unemployed youths could be transformed into criminality in the society. In Nigeria, the manpower structure of the country today, clearly reveals a massive unemployed youths. Awogbenle and Iwuamadi (2010) detailed from the available information provided by the National Manpower Board and National Bureau of Statistics that Nigeria has a young people with about 80 million population, this is about 60 percent of the total population of the nation and from this, 64 million of them are unemployed while 1.6million are underemployed. Relatedly, Doreo (2013) after this pattern larger part of Nigerians are under utilized in 2015, likewise demonstrated that the unemployment rate in the nation is moving at the pace of 16 percent in every year with the young people affected most and representing three times the general unemployment. Basically, the enormous youth unemployment circumstance has constrained countless number of the nation’s most beneficial labour to be excess.

A vast majority of these youths are energetic and possess the capacity for work, yet they are found roaming the street daily and searching for jobs that barely exist (Obaro, 2012). The present situation of youth unemployment in Nigeria is a reflection of general decadence that has plaqued the country for long and a consequence of several factors. Most notable among these factors are; over dependence on oil revenue to the neglect of agricultural sector, implementation of high sounding unviable policies, high profile corruption among the politicians and bureaucrats and the type of education that is being given in secondary and tertiary institutions, which is oriented towards wage employment and bereft of entrepreneurship development (Awogbenle and Iwuamadi, 2010; Murphy, 2008; Alanana, 2003 and Fapohunda, 2003). Successive governments in the country have introduced various programmes to fight unemployment in order to curb criminal behaviours.

It is on record that all the efforts made by governments have not had any huge effect on unemployment (Omorodion, 2010). Thus, the impunity in the commission of crime is linked to youth unemployment in the face of economic insecurity and work-worried life in which most of the youths have found themselves in the country. Given the prevailing intensity of youth – unemployment and upsurge of criminality, it is surprising that only very few studies have documented the relationship between the twin social phenomena in Nigeria.

In conclusion, most of the past researches have concentrated mainly on the impact of general unemployment on the country's economy. Consequently, this study intends to explore the reasons for unemployment and kinds of criminal practices carried out by the unemployed youth in the nation. It further investigates the impacts of criminality on jobless youths and communities and the relationship between youth unemployment and criminality in Nigeria.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Nigeria is faced with the challenge of chronic youth unemployment for a long time now which is why it has become necesary to look into the causes of unemplyment, reasons why it is prolonged and the necessary recommendations that can bring about job opportunities for the youth and everyone who is within the age of employment. A great numbers of people are graduating from the colleges and higher institutions of learning each year with no employment opportunities available. Hence Nigerian streets are littered with youth hawkers who ordinarily would have found gainful employment in some enterprises; or would have demonstrated their skills and resourcefulness if there are enabling environments and reliable management structures on ground.

The resultant impact of this is the move in the "way to make it" (financial opportunity), which has driven such huge numbers of young people into Cybercrime prevalently known as '419' and internet related frauds called yahoo-yahoo, dating frauds and so forth. Despite the fact that this is an inappropriate utilization of mechanical development however it end up being the following available choice open to adolescents and youthful school leavers and more seasoned ones the same who have been jobless for quite a long time without thinking about the repercaution or perils included.

The issue in this way is most Nigerian graduate youths who are employed are under employed, or doing the jobs that are not meant for them going by their area of study and specialization. So many graduate unemployed youths find themselves employed as factory workers, hawking in the traffic/highway roads, selling in the markets, serving at mama-put and small scale food vendors all in the bid to make ends meet and not to be inactive. These kinds of jobs being carried out by graduates lead to disappointment, aggression, frustration and eventually "stale mind", it is of no surprise that they utilize available choices of fraud and internet datings. This problem therefore gave rise to the topic unemployment and crime rate in Nigeria: a correlational study from 1980 to 2017. It plans to explore the reasons for unemployment in Nigeria, to discover the impacts of unemployment in the country the roles of government and individuals on unemployment and job opportunity.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The objective of this study is to examine unemployment and crime rate in Nigeria: a correlational study from 1980 to 2017. However, the specific objectives are:

i)               To determine the crime rate in Nigeria

ii)             To determine if crime can be minimized using employment as a tool

iii)           To understand why youths are the major class involved in crime

iv)            To investigate the reasons for increase in unemployment from 1980 to 2017 in Nigeria

1.4       Research Questions

The following questions were generated during the course of this study

i)               What is the crime rate in Nigeria?

ii)             How can crime be minimized using employment as a tool?

iii)           Why youths are the major class involved in crime?

iv)            What are the reasons for increase in unemployment from 1980 to 2017 in Nigeria?



1.5       Significance of the Study

This study is very significant in country like ours, where there is an ever increasing unemployment and youth crime rate, it significance can be seen in the following areas.

This study will assist policy makers in making sound policies for the youth. It will also help in crime prevention and control. It will provide an insight on the importance of Job creation and youth empowerment as well as innovation and creativity for the youth. Academicians will benefit through applying the information containing this research. Scholars especially in criminology will benefit from this research and its contents. Lastly, this literature can enhance research on this field and relative field of study.

1.6       The Scope of the Study

This research work was limited to unemployment and crime rate in Nigeria from 1980 to 2017. It covers around the youth and criminal activities that can be traced to unemployment. The researcher will be mainly concerned with youth, employment and crime issues.

1.7       Limitations of the Study

The limitations of this study include:

  1. The paucity of Time limited this research greatly
  2.  Finance was not sufficient for this research. 
  3. Type of reach is purely academically and may not suffice in wider scope.
  4. The lassie faire attitudes of most of the respondents affect this study.

1.8       Definition of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of carrying out this study:

Unemployment: is a phenomenon that occurs when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work

Youth: The UN, for statistical consistency across regions, defines 'youth', as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years

Crime: an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law.