Rising Youth Unemployment and Its Social Economic Implications for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Economy

22 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2015

See all articles by Chris Ehinomen

Chris Ehinomen

Federal University Oye-Ekiti

Babatunde Afolabi

Afe Babalola University, Department of Economics

Date Written: January 13, 2015


The study examines the socio-economic implications of the rising youth unemployment for the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. This has become imperative due to the seemingly unsolvable rising youth unemployment with the attendant rising criminal activities in Nigeria. The problem of violent crimes in Nigeria has been exacerbated by the high rate of unemployment, reckless impunities being perpetuated by those in position of leadership, wide-gap in the socio-economic inequality and economic hardship which has pushed many jobless youths, most of whom are graduates, into various deadly crimes such as murder, drug peddling, armed robbery, kidnapping, prostitution, raping and terrorism plaguing Nigeria in this 2014. Consequently, the endemic systematic corruption, epileptic electricity supply, deepening insecurity, especially the proliferation and increasing radicalization of non-state armed groups such as Boko Haram, rising unemployment and high poverty level, kidnapping, leadership question and the deplorable state of infrastructures, inability of several poverty reduction programmes to address the high and debilitating poverty levels in the nation among others, necessitated this paper. A historical analysis technique was adopted. Deprivation Theory of Ted Gurr was used to explain why and what makes youths to engage in violent crimes against the state and the society.

It has been observed that currently, terrorism has taken the centre stage resulting in horrible bloodshed, destruction of property leading to increasing internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugee’s camps with their attendant serious economic and socio-political set-backs. The causes are not farfetched as studies have associated rising youth unemployment and extreme religious fanaticism to increase of violent crime in Nigeria.

In summary, the study concluded that if factors that create the feelings of deprivation, repression and frustration (with emphasis on unemployment and extreme religious fanaticism) are addressed, youths will not engage in violent crimes against the society as they say ‘an idle mind is the devils workshop.’

The study consequently, recommends among others things, that Nigeria being a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-cultural society; and a mono-economy, depending on oil for over 90% of her foreign exchange earnings, requires sound leadership that places importance on spatial development, courageous, selfless, not corrupt, committed, determined, and persistent to be able to have a heartfelt realization of the objectives of its development plans, and diversify the productive base of the Nigerian economy.

Keywords: Youth Unemployment, Poverty, Deprivation, Frustration, Violent Crime, Nigeria

Suggested Citation

Ehinomen, Chris and Afolabi, Babatunde, Rising Youth Unemployment and Its Social Economic Implications for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Economy (January 13, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2549284 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2549284

Chris Ehinomen

Federal University Oye-Ekiti ( email )

Oye-Afao Road
Oye Ekiti

Babatunde Afolabi (Contact Author)

Afe Babalola University, Department of Economics ( email )

Ado Ekiti
+234 8035 029 400 (Phone)

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