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Unemployment Problems and Poor Establishment of Industries in Nigeria

Unemployment Problems and Poor Establishment of Industries in Nigeria

Unemployment Problems and Poor Establishment of Industries in Nigeria


Population of the Study

This simply means the aggregate number of persons from whom data to the study were collected. The target population for the research constitutes residents in Umuahia North Local Government area of Abia state.


Literature review

Concept of Industrial Development

Industrial development has been the subject of considerable interest across the world. Interest in industrial development dates back to the industrial revolution. Since then, healthy, dynamic manufacturing sector has been identified with progress and wealth. But in the developing countries particularly those of Africa, interest in industrial development can be traced to the end of the Second World War when, in a bid to speed up the process of social and economic development , the colonial masters introduced development planning as a means of improving the welfare of the masses. In Nigeria for instance, the history of planning dates back to the 1940s when the Colonial Office requested the colonial administration in the country to prepare the ten year plan of development and welfare covering the period 1945 to 1955 (Tomori and Fajana,1979). Implicit in the foregoing is the fact that while industrial revolution sparked off industrialization in developed countries, colonialism sparked it off in developing countries. A little wonder why industrial development in Nigeria is largely dependent on the technological development or capacity of the developed nations.

What readily comes to mind when industrialization or industrial development is mentioned is increased manufacturing activity. Truly, industrial development is an activity that is limited to only one sector of the economy – manufacturing (Etuk, 1989). For Todaro (1977), industrial development means the process of building up a country’s capacity to process raw materials and to manufacture goods for consumption or further production. Preston (1974) sees industrial development as “smokestack-chasing and nothing else”. He adds further that industrial development is “concerned with improving the quality of life through the generation of economic opportunities.” Industries are established to employ people (labour) to manufacture consumable commodities. Employment in industries offers people the opportunity to live above poverty level and to improve their living standards generally.





The chapter presents the overview of unemployment in Abia state, Nigeria. There seems to be a consensus on the definition of unemployment.  The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines the unemployed as numbers of the economically active population who are without work but available for and seeking work, including people who have lost their jobs and those who have voluntarily left work (World Bank, 1998:63).  Although there seems to be convergence on this concept, its applications have been bedeviled with series of problems across countries.  First, most published unemployment rates are recorded open unemployment. People’s attitude on this varies from country to country. While this may be high in developed countries and where government is committed to resolving unemployment problems, it is likely to be very low in countries with the opposite attributes.

Okigbo (1991) also points out the problem arising from the concept of labour force.  In most countries, particularly Nigeria, people below the age of 15 years and those above the age of 55, who are actively engaged in economic activities are usually excluded from labour statistical surveys.  All these factors have the tendency to result in underestimation of unemployment thereby making international comparison very difficult.  Factors such as the preponderance of full housewives (but who are willing to be engaged in paid job) and unpaid family workers also contribute significantly to the underestimation of unemployment.

Trends of unemployment in Nigeria

The Nigerian economy has experienced several and external shocks that have resulted in severe distortions and caused structural changes.  The resultant effect had been fluctuations in major macroeconomic aggregates such as output, inflation, balance of payments, consumption, investment, and unemployment rate. What poses as the major concern to policy makers is the upward trend in the unemployment rate while other macroeconomic variables like real GDP growth and balance of payments have shown significant improvement.




This chapter is concerned about the presentation and analysis of data gathered in the course of this research. For clarity, easy understanding and simplicity, the presentation and analysis of the surveyed data are broken down into personal data respondent and appraisal of respondents on it effectiveness.




The alarming rate of unemployment, especially among the youths, and its attendant implications to development in developing countries, has been a focus of attention all over the world. As the “giant” of Africa, unemployment situation in Nigeria has always been very significant and worrisome. However, Nigeria has always tried to industrialize in order to stem the rising rate of youth unemployment. As Dauda (2004) observes, a number of industrial development programmes and policies have been implemented in Nigeria since the 1960s.


This study was carried out on unemployment problems and poor establishment of industries in Nigeria. Data on the subject were collected from both primary and secondary sources. The study has come up with some findings, and the most important ones are in line with our research assumptions that there is a high level of unemployment in the area especially amongst 1829years and lowly educated male youths. This shows that 18-29 years constitute the age bracket that is most affected by the problem of unemployment. The main cause of the problem discovered is the economic melt-down, lack of diversification of the economy, and rapid population growth in Nigeria at large and Umuahia North Local Government area of Abia state in particular. There is also a striking discovery that industries have done fairly well in training and skills acquisition and it only problem is in the area of take-off capital after training and this appear that industries have not made the desired impact in the area studied. The study thus, confirmed that the main drawback faced by the agency was lack of back-up support services like capital for the participants after the training to set up their business. It further found out that corruption hamper the effective realization of the visions of the agency itself.

In the light of these findings, the study concludes that unemployment of youths make them vulnerable to such social vices like thuggery, theft, political hooliganism, and lawless rioting, which have adversely affected local as well as state-wide security. Finally, the researcher submits that the problem of industries is that of bad leadership, lack of coherence in goals, and corruption, which have collectively caused the agency to fail to achieve its statutory goals.


It is apparent from the study that the industry’s employment of indigenes brings about reduction in youth unemployment, reduces youth violence and restiveness as well as other forms of crime in affected communities. In the light of the foregoing, it is concluded in the study as Dauda (2004) had done that rapid industrialization is a sure solution to the lingering and alarming mass youth unemployment in Nigeria. In fact, industrialization plays a major role in promoting a variety of social objectives such as employment; poverty reduction, and greater access to education/skills acquisition, improved healthcare, and other infrastructural amenities.

Industrialization usually comes with socio-economic and political development. In fact, the more developed a society’s industrial capacity, the greater the level of socio-economic and political growth and development. If carried out in a sustainable manner, taking into account the often fragile nature of the surrounding environment, societal patterns and economic conditions, increased industrialization can achieve lasting improvements in living standards, incomes, working conditions, nutrition or dietary needs, education, consumer goods, and life expectancies. It is only rapid industrialization combined with massive youth employment, development of local contents and technologies, human capacity building, and promotion of environmental peace that can truly eradicate youth unemployment and poverty.

With regard to the industry as an institution for tackling the menace of unemployment, we arrived at the conclusion that with adequate funding, good leadership, eradication of nepotism, and less corruption, the statutory objectives of the industry shall be realized. The study also concludes that in the context of educational level, there is the desire of students further to go through tertiary institutions and earn a degree certificates or it equivalents which is among the requirement in securing a good white-collar job discouraging them from learning entrepreneur skills.


The following recommendations, in line with the findings of this study, are put forward in the belief that if they are implemented, will effectively combat the problems of industrialization and youth unemployment in Nigeria and other developing countries:

  1. Increased Industrialization: Industrialization guarantees creation of employment opportunities and poverty reduction. Therefore, increased industrialization should be vigorously pursued by the Nigerian government at all levels in order to effectively combat youth unemployment in the country. Almost all parts of the country have enough natural resources to develop and take the teeming unemployed youths of this country out of unemployment and poverty. The country cannot continue to impoverish its teeming youths in the midst of plenty. Therefore, each local government or State of the federation should wake up from slumber and industrialise on the resources it has comparative advantage. Not only will increased industrialization ensure reduction in youth unemployment, but will ensure that most of the youths withdraw from thuggery, violence, restiveness, militancy and other criminal activities.
  2. Education and Skill Acquisition: It is found in the study that all the workers had one form of formal education or the other. This shows that employment in most Nigerian industries will be tied to education in the nearest future. In the light of this, it is pertinent to recommend that the youths should try to acquire education and skills needed for employment in organised sectors like industries and civil/public service, instead of wasting their precious time in political thuggery to the detriment of their future. Education allows one to acquire the skills and knowledge required for employment in the labour market.
  3. Adequate Industrial Workforce/Staffing: Findings from the study have shown that the workers agreed that there is inadequate workforce owing to their being over-used. However, the management disagreed with the opinion. This disagreement, however, suggests that the issue of staffing should be reconsidered by the management in most Nigerian industries. Government should also ensure that industries in Nigeria have sufficient workforce. Apart from promoting efficient output and productivity, adequate industrial workforce means increased employment. It is pertinent to observe here that inadequate industrial workforce ensures that the available workforce/staff are overused or made to work longer and strenuously than necessary. This has a serious health impact on the individual worker and can also promote job dissatisfaction. Industries should be made to understand the foregoing implications of inadequate workforce on the economic or industrial growth of the country, their productivity, health and morale of the workers.
  4. Promotion of Environmental Peace: Industries should prioritize promotion of relative peace in their host communities as this will go a long way to ensuring their productivity and sustenance. Apart from employing the indigenes, industries should be committed to the provision of their corporate social responsibility, that is, industry’s concern for the welfare of the society in which it operates, which is manifested in the provision of certain infrastructural amenities and welfare packages to the host communities. It is in the interest of industries to contribute to the development, stability, safety and survival of the communities they exist, derive their resources and market their products.
  5. Rural Development: Concerted efforts should be geared by the Nigerian government to improve the living standard and socio-economic conditions of the population of rural communities. It has been argued that the focus of rural development should be at organizing and developing available human and material resources in such a way that rural dwellers would be able to meet the basic needs of life viz: food, clothing and shelter as well as posses some reasonable facilities for education, interaction and health (Seniyi, 1998). In clear terms, government should provide infrastructure such as schools, good roads, agricultural facilities, clean water, electricity and hospitals to the rural communities. This can divert the attention of youths from seeking employment in organised sectors like industries to self-employment in agriculture and other vocations, as life in the rural areas would be made more comfortable and appealing by the presence of infrastructural amenities.
  6. Effective Government Supervision/Monitoring: Government should effectively supervise/ monitor the activities and employment trends of industries to ensure adequate staffing and increased employment. In addition to effective supervision/monitoring of industries’ activities and employment trends, government should spearhead the review of labour market’s demands to enhance reduction in unemployment and improve the living standards of the teeming population.


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