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The Problems Of Youth Unemployment And Rural Crime In Ngor Okpala Local Government Area Of Imo State

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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 analyse 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. Four research questions and hypothesis were formulated. The sample of 150 males and females was selected by probability random sampling techniques. The instruments for the study where the interview method and questionnaire containing nineteen open question, which were validated by the supervisor, the mothers were the respondents. The analysis of data was by use of frequency tables, percentages and chi-square. The major findings of the study were:

Youth unemployment and armed robbery are related.

There is a relationship between youth unemployment and drug abuse.

The unemployment situation is the brain behind burglary in Ngor Okpala

Rural unemployment leads to youth gambling.

The government should provide job opportunities and also ensure an equitable distribution of resources. The gap between the rich and the poor can be narrowed by creating employment opportunities for the citizens, provision of cheap food and shelter and ensuring that education is no longer a privilege but a right in these rural areas.

2)       Achieving industrialization by establishing many industries in rural areas of Ngor Okpala, this will create more employment opportunities and reduce the high rate of rural crime.

3)       Social amenities should be provided to rural areas especially in this area of study (the people of Ngor Okpala) because this is also a way of creating jobs and it will make many school leavers in the area to accept to work and reside in their rural homes without thinking about committing crimes.

4)       There are empty lands in Ngor Okpala, what the government needs to do is to use them to encourage labour-oriented industries, production in the industries that will be established in order to achieve industrialization in our societies should be made labour-intensive instead of total use of machines. By so doing it will create an avenue for the rural youth to get employment and the rate of crime will be reduced.

5)       Restructuring our educational system, pre-vocational courses like mechanics, electronics, woodwork, metal work, etc should be taught; these will make our educational products to be job-creators instead of job-seekers.

6)       The government should ensure that there is equal distribution of wealth, political participation, economic activities and resources because there is a saying that “what is good for the goose is also good for the gander”. They should ensure that development is a multifaceted thing and not a one sided phenomena, the rural areas should be recognized to avoid crimes.

7)       Most rural areas especially Ngor Okpala is traditionally based on agriculture and they take agriculture as their source of economy. So, the government should make agriculture more attractive. This can be done by developing agriculture and those in it should earn more wages, salaries so that it can attract the youth and at least create rooms for more jobs and the high rate of rural crime will be a thing of the past in Ngor Okpala LGA of Imo State.




Title page……………………………………………………....





Table of Contents……………………………………………………….v


1.1     Background to the problem…………………………………..1

1.2     Statement of the problem……………………………………..2

1.3     Purpose of Study/Objectives…………………………………6

1.4     Research Question………………………………………………7

1.5     Research Hypotheses……………….………………………….7       

1.6     Significance of Study…………………………………………..8



2.1     Conceptual Clarification: Rural Area                              10

          Rural crime                                                                    10

          Types of rural crime                                                                 11

2.2     Unemployment                                                                        13

          Youth unemployment and crime                                    15

          Types of youth unemployment                                                20

          Effects of youth unemployment and rural                      22

          Solution to unemployment and rural crime                   24

2.3     Theoretical orientation/framework                                27

          The Marxian theory of economic determinism                28

          The differential opportunity                                           29

          Marxist theory of unemployment                                   31

          Theoretical frame work                                                   32



3.1     Scope of Study                                                                         37

3.2     Research Design                                                            38

3.3     Sample Size                                                                             38

3.4     Sample technique                                                          39

3.5     Data Collection technique                                                        39

3.6     Data Analysis Technique                                                         40

3.7     Limitation of Study                                                                  41

3.8     Definition of Terms                                                                  43




4.1     Data Presentation and Analysis                                               45

4.2     Testing of Hypothesis                                                     68

4.2.1 Testing of Hypothesis one                                                        69

4.2.2  Testing of Hypothesis two                                              72

4.2.3  Testing of Hypothesis three                                           77

4.2.4  Testing of Hypothesis four                                             80

4.3     Discussion of Research Findings                                   84






5.1     Summary                                                                                 87

5.2     Conclusion                                                                     89

5.3     Recommendation                                                           91

          Bibliography                                                                            95

          Questionnaire                                                                          100











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 this 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 days great value and dignity was attached to labour 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 methods 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 head quarters 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 locational 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 has 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 makes it unique for this study.



Youth unemployment and rural crime has been a threatening menace in Ngor Okpala as a whole, thus it has became 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  extremely  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.

Moreso, 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 behaviour 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.



(i)           This  study  generally  investigate the  problems of  youth unemployment and  rural  crime  with  particular reference to  Ngor Okpala local  government of  Imo State.

(ii)          To describe the extent of youth unemployment and crime in Ngor Okpala local government of Imo State.

(iii)        To determine crimes that are traceable to unemployment.

(iv)         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.

(v)          To proffer solution and recommendation to the problems of youth unemployment and rural crime in Ngor Okpala local government of Imo State.



(i)           What is  the truth  of the  assertion  that  more  youths  in the  society  especially  in Ngor Okpala take to  crime because of unemployment?

(ii)          How tenable is it to say that unemployment increases crime in Ngor Okpala?

(iii)        Is it tenable to assert that crime is a function of economic situation like unemployment in Ngor Okpala local government of Imo State?

(iv)         What is the  truth  of the  assertion  that  youth  unemployment is  a function  of  economic imbalance in Nigeria with  particular reference to Ngor Okpala?



In this research, the operational hypothesis will be based on the following premises.

(i)       There is a relationship between youth unemployment and armed robbery.

(ii)      There is a relationship between youth unemployment and drug abuses in Ngor Okpala.

(iii)     There  is  a relationship between youth  unemployment  and  burglary in Ngor Okpala.

(iv)     There  is  a relationship between  rural  unemployment  and  youth  gambling.



This research study is very important in the sense that it has thrown light on a hitherto neglected social cum societal issues as regard investigation and examinations of factors or root problems to the phenomenon, has a great extent enable us to forces and isolate this dangerous trend with the view to adding to the already existing body of knowledge as it concerns youth unemployment and rural crime.

This study will be significant to us in the following wags;

A)      ACADEMIC: This research will join others in its field to help diagnose society and the problem of youth unemployment and rural crime with a view to bringing awareness to the society and possible ways of ensuring the eradication of youth unemployment and rural crime and its ramification, as it is the biggest set-back or impediment to a community, nation –state and with reference to Ngor Okpala.

Hence, this study is an attempt to fill all important vacuum in the existing body of knowledge. And as such, it will be useful for students who will want to make further research on the problems of youth unemployment and rural crime.


B)      PRACTICAL: The findings of this research work when published will assists the government, the corporate bodies, parents to take informed decisions concerning how to eradicate the scourge of youth unemployment and rural crime.

          Finally as a part of the sociological tradition, the study is expected to bring about the question, generate debates that ultimately induce further research, all of which is aimed at enriching our knowledge and provide guidelines, mechanisms for the government towards the formulation of effective and lasting policies that will help in curbing the problems of youth unemployment and rural crime and develop society like ours.

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