1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Every society across the globe has its peculiar problems and challenges. Nigeria is not an exception. As a developing country, she faces her own share of social, political, economic and cultural problems which has in no small measure affected the well-being of the populace. Such problems bedeviling the country include youth‟s unemployment and the rising wave of crime, which have serious implications for national development.
The population of youth in Nigeria is about 46.4 million especially between the age group of 15- 39 years (National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Abuja. 2017). As the overall population of the youth is growing, government should provide jobs and other incentives to teeming unemployed graduates and youths. Unfortunately, unemployment situation in Nigeria, especially the youth has been on the increase since mid 1980s when the economy started witnessing a down-turn. Although, unemployment is a global phenomenon but the rate varies across different countries depending on the size and capacity of the economy to provide jobs for its citizens.
Unemployment rate in Nigeria has continued to be on the increase despite the abundant human and natural resources available in the country. Chronic youth‟s unemployment is evident in Nigeria. Every year, thousands of graduates are produced but there are no jobs for majority of them. Nigerian streets are littered with youth hawkers who ordinarily would have found gainful employment in some enterprise (Okafor, 2011). The large number of youths who are unemployed is capable of undermining democratic practice as they constitute a serious threat if engaged by the political class for clandestine and criminal activities (Okafor, 2011).
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (2009), the national unemployment rates for Nigeria between 2000 and 2011 showed that the number of unemployed persons constituted 31.1% in 2000 and reduced to 11- 9% in 2005. Again, it rose to 23.9% in 2011 and 29.5% in 2012. It has been projected by NBS that unemployment rate will rise above 35% in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The same statistics showed that on the average, youth unemployment rate in Nigeria was 46.5% in 2012 (BLG, 2012).The high rate of violent crime in Nigeria today has been blamed in many quarters on unemployment, especially of the youth. Research findings suggest also that the unemployed youth are disproportionally more likely to be perpetrators as well as victims of crime and violence (Okafor, 2011). The growing gap between the rich and the poor affects the society through increased violence such as rape.
The heightened rate of crime in Nigeria in recent times is worrisome and disturbing. This is evident in daily news report of various crime such as robbery, pilfering, burglary, car theft, rape, kidnapping, internet scam and other social media crimes. South Western Nigeria, in the yesteryear, was known for peaceful and tranquil atmosphere with adequate protection of lives and properties but in recent times, the spate of insecurity has taken another dimension. For instance, Aramoko-Erio-Efon, Akure-Ikere and Ado-Ijan routes have become endangered routes for travelers as many have fallen victims of kidnap or robbery along these routes . Also, a Professor of a private university was kidnapped in Ondo State and his dead body was later found (Oladele, Akeke Oladunjoye 2011). Unfortunately, youths who are more than half of Nigeria’s population as at 2016 census (Mbachu & Alake, 2016) and the energetic class, who should diversify their strengths to the development of the country are often found culpable in the challenge of crimes confronting the country.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The high unemployment rate among youths in Nigeria has been attributed to many factors including rapid rural unban migration, rapid population growth, inappropriate school curricula, corruption, decline of the manufacturing sector, perception of policy makers and the youths themselves on employment and poor governance (Adebayo, 2013; Ekeji, 2019). There is a consensus among scholars that joblessness is connected to criminality such as rape. Ehrlich cited in Jelilov and Ndanitsa (2015) noted that joblessness is connected with offence because the time spent for genuine work decreases the chance of illegal work. Decrease in unemployment, according to Fadaei-Tehrani and Green in Jelilov & Ndanitsa (2015) leads to decrease in crime and vice versa. UN-Habitat discovered that socio-economic inequality and lack of opportunities for social advancement and employment are some of the root causes of crime and violence (Ajaegbu, 2012). On the other hand, most of the crimes such as robbery, kidnapping, thuggery and others are characterised with violence and endanger the security of the victims and the society. The study, therefore, seeks to find the relationship between unemployment and rape in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine the relationship between unemployment and rape in Nigeria. Specifically, other objectives of the study are;
i. Examine the implications of the increased unemployment rate in Nigeria.
ii. Examine the factors that leads to the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria.
iii. Examine the relationship between unemployment and rape in Nigeria