YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA A STUDY OF BADAGRY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, LAGOS STATE
The study examined Youth Empowerment And Socio-Economic Development : A Study Of Badagry Local Government Area. Primary data were collected using questionnaire administered at randomly selected beneficiaries of the empowerment schemes. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data generated by the study. The findings of the study revealed that YES had made significant contributions towards improving the standard of living of the respondents (87.7%) in the study area. Among the respondents, 73.5% were satisfied with the performance of the youth empowerment schemes. In addition, the limitations of the youth empowerment schemes included lack of access to loans, inadequate training centers and equipments, high interest rate and illiteracy. To improve the performance of the youth empowerment schemes in the study area, the study recommended that adequate loan facility with minimal interest rate, the establishment of additional training centers with efficient equipment and adequate training for participants should be ensured in order to achieve sustainable development.
Background to the Study
Youths are the greatest assets that any nation can have. Not only are they legitimately regarded as the future leaders; they are, potentially and actually, the greatest investment for a country’s development. They serve as a good measure of the extent to which a country can reproduce as well as sustain itself. The extent of their vitality, responsible conduct, and roles in society is positively correlated with the development of their country.
Obadan, (2010) submits that our generation has empowered our youth with schools without education; with rumours without facts; with facts without understanding ; with theories without wisdom; with problems without solutions; with wounds fulfillment; with corruption without righteousness; with greed without neighborliness; with hatred without love; with politics without development with religion without genuine fear of God, and with self-centeredness without God centeredness. Youth empowerment in any development is imperative not only for national development but because the transitional period from childhood to adulthood is quite a challenge. If the potential of these youth are not profitably harnessed and marshaled towards development, there is bound to be trouble (Ojikutu, 1998).
Youth are filled with vigour and fresh energies which need to be properly harnessed through empowerment. This will discourage them from engaging in social vices which constrain sustainable development. This study therefore seeks to examine youth empowerment and sustainable development in Nigeria: A Study of Lagos State.
Statement of the Problem
The Importance of youth empowerment programmes cannot be over emphasized. They are means of assisting people to overcome obstacles which might prevent them from achieving their potentials. Youth Empowerment Programme is also a process whereby young people gain the ability and authority to make decisions and implement change in their own lives, reduce crime, eradicate poverty, encourage good leadership, address the problem of high rate of unemployment in Nigeria especially in Lagos State, among others.
In spite of the importance of youth empowerment programmes, the means of empowering the youth in Lagos State is not encouraging because the empowerment programmes of the government are limited to activities such as: provision of material things/resources to limited number of youths, distribution of motor-vans, motorcycles, clippers, keke-napepes, generators, and food items which seem to be non-durable empowerment and may not contribute to maximize to the socio-economic development of individual and the state as a whole.
Consequently, there is a high rate of youth unemployment in Nigeria today, especially in Lagos State irrespective of the government efforts to address this high unemployment rate among the youths. It is also noted that many unemployed youths today have engaged in elections as thugs and body guards. They have been involved in violence, riots, crimes, drug abuse, sexual harassment, alcohol consumption and unwanted insurgencies which involve the killing of human souls. Insufficient empowerment programmes for youths have also resulted to gender-based violence, unwanted pregnancies, violence, rape, poverty, prostitution and other physical and social crisis in the society. Some of the causes of ineffective implementation of youth empowerment programmes in Lagos State and in some parts of Nigeria also include: lack of entrepreneurship; unavailability of fund from the government and private agencies; poor knowledge based economy and low spirit of competition; irregular distribution of materials and equipment to trainers at the centres; non-inclusion of entrepreneurship programmes in school curriculum; poor societal attitude to technical and vocational education programmes; lack of fund to motivate already employed youths; disrespect of Nigerian policies and education; inadequate facilities and equipments for teaching and training at the available centres. Therefore, there is need for the government to improve its provision of youth empowerment programmes in Lagos State. The problem of this study, therefore, put in question form is: What are the strategies for effective implementation of youth empowerment programmes in Lagos State, Nigeria?
Objectives of the Study
- To examine whether Youth Empowerment Schemes (Such as :Youth, Sports and Leisure Time Activities; Youth acquisition of skills in ICT; Good quality education; Entrepreneurship development; Participation in decision making; General employment for the youth and NLNG Youth empowerment schemes (NLNG YES) lead to sustainable development in Lagos State
- The examine the motivational strategies for effective implementation of youth empowerment programmes in Lagos State
- Do Youth Empowerment Schemes (Such as :Youth, Sports and Leisure Time Activities; Youth acquisition of skills in ICT; Good quality education; Entrepreneurship development; Participation in decision making; General employment for the youth and NLNG Youth empowerment schemes (NLNG YES) lead to sustainable development in Lagos State?
- What are the motivational strategies for effective implementation of youth empowerment programmes in Lagos State?
Significance of the Study
The theoretical significance of this study is anchored on Stuffle beam’s Context, Input, Process, and Product (CIPP) Model Theory propound by Stufflebeam (1971). This theory used to assess programmes of organizations and educational institutions. The model emphasized on the importance and need for effective implementation of youth organization programmes.
Also, theoretically, the findings of this study will be considered significant because there is need for empirical information on how to improve youth empowerment programmes in Lagos State, Nigeria. This study will, therefore, contribute to the knowledge of the strategies for effective implementation of youth empowerment programmes in Lagos State, Nigeria.
In practical terms, the findings of this study will be of benefits to youths, ministry of youth and development, counsellors, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Social workers, and students.
The findings of the study will provide relevant knowledge to the youth on empowerment programmes available and some of the constraints for proper implementation of empowerment programmes in Lagos State, Nigeria.
The findings of the study will help the Ministry of Youth and Development with new strategies to carryout youth empowerment programmes and alternative means to fund and encourage beneficiaries already empowered.
The study will help the counsellors to be in a position to advice the youth on available empowerment programmes for them. The parents who are the primary agents of socialization of the child will benefit from this study as it will provide them insights of the constraints to implementation of youth empowerment programmes. This will enable them counsel and advice their children better on career choices.
The Students will benefit from the information generated by this study as it will make for positive effects towards the provision of more youth empowerment programmes, policies, and encouragement necessary to make them better in the labour market with already acquired skilled for manpowered development.
The Social Workers as agents of change will also benefit from this study as it will reveal to them the forms of empowerment programmes available for youth and they will be able to educate them along that line.
The findings of this study will provide vital information to the non- governmental organizations (NGOs) on ways to improve empowerment programmes in Lagos State.