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Background of the Study

The most pressing problems in Nigeria today and in every developing nation is unemployment. Many people both young and old find it difficult to get gainful employment. Unemployment is a common phenomenon, which every nation strives to eradicate. Events all over the country have confirmed that unemployment situation in this country has reached a crisis level. The labour market is already saturated, yet youths are seen daily in thousands, roaming the streets, in towns and cities looking for jobs which are not there. The increase in demand for solution to youth unemployment in the country arises from the fact that enormous educational institutions are seen everyday with their certificates searching for white-collar jobs. It is no gainsaying that in the present economy retrenched, able-bodied people and many graduates with formal training in education are now found taking up teaching jobs in private Nursery, primary, secondary, private lessons of different levels.

Unemployment according to Folayan, K.A., Abiodum, R., & Ajuboja, E. (1986) is where there are people who are able to work, wishing to work dependent on work for livelihood but unable to obtain suitable employment.

Oladebo (1990) pointed out that unemployment is when unskilled, well educated and able bodied men and women in our society openly and actively look for employment but cannot get it as well as those who had been deprived of their employment work life patterns via dismissal, retrenchment and terminations probably for what of particular skills to work.

According to Berry (2003), unemployment is a condition that exists when there are people who are interested to work but are unproviledged due to lack of opportunity. It is referred to a situation which arises when an employable individual is actively but unsuccessfully seeking work.

However, private business sector is seen as small scale business. But what is seen as small scale business in one economy may be seen as medium scale business in another economy (Eze, 2005). In order to clear this confusion between small and medium scale business, some criteria that can be used are relatives in size, type of customers, financial strength and the number of employees available in the business.

According to Njoku and Nwosu(2002), a working definition of small scale business will be one with a working capital of one hundred thousand to one hundred and fifty thousand naira. Norbert(2001) cited in his work that a small scale business is the type of business that is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of operation. Therefore, private sector includes tailoring, shoe making, bakeries, wood work, weaving, farming, retailing and among others.

Private Business Sector has been playing significant role in reduction rate of unemployment. The sector contributes about 75% reduction of unemployment in Enugu metropolis and in Nigeria. The sector include most activities in manufacturing, mining, construction, banking and transportation. The unorganized private sector are agriculture, house-hold, small scale industries and non-governmental organization. It contains millions of individuals proprietor, petty traders, units transport operators and self employed craftsman and artisan(Obado 2000).

Moreover, there are many factors that have hindered the development of private sector in Nigeria. These range from civil disturbances through government harassment and interference to uncertain exchange rates, impassable roads frequent power failure and telephones that do not work or problem of network. Despite those problems, the role of private sector cannot be overemphasized in the reduction of unemployment rate in Nigeria.

Statement of the Problem

Problem of unemployment in Enugu metropolis has attracted great concern. The effects of unemployment on any nation indirectly indicates the sophistication of nation and it has many secondary effects. In the first place as a result of influx for limited wage labour many are found unemployed. The unemployed people resort to various crimes, unemployment leads to over crowding most especially in Enugu metropolis. Such crowding has negative effects both on the health and the life of the individuals residing in Enugu metropolis.

Many communicable diseases have been associated with over crowding, as a way of escape from the poverty created by unemployment, many unemployed people in Enugu metropolis resort to smoking marijuana or using some drugs that think less of poor situation. Most of the streets of Enugu metropolis are littered with this set of people who constitute problem both to the economy and aesthetic value of our metropolis environment.

The above problems promoted the researcher to involve the extent private business sectors have contributed in Enugu unemployment.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to find out the contributions of private sector in the reduction of unemployment in Enugu metropolis.

The study aims to determine the following:

1. The causes of unemployment in Enugu metropolis

2.  The extent the establishment of private sectors in Enugu urban has reduced unemployment.

3.  Factors hindering the contribution of private sector in the reduction of unemployment in Enugu Metropolis.

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be significant to the private business sectors, government, unemployed youths and general public.

This study will encourage individuals in Enugu metropolis to invest in private business in order to reduce accelerating rate of unemployment in the area.

Government will after reading this project provide credit facilities and remove barriers that hinder establishment of private business in Enugu metropolis.

Youths and general public will through this study develop themselves for the available job opportunities that exists in private business sectors.

Nevertheless, researchers wilt benefit from the contents of this study because it contains some relevant information that will enable them to develop their own businesses.

Scope of the Study

Private businesses are the prominent feature of the Enugu state economy in particular, Nigeria at large. But this study will focus only on the private businesses in Enugu State particularly in Enugu Metropolis. It will consider some selected private private business sector in Enugu Metropolis. The researcher tries to cover all forms of private businesses within Enugu Metropolis ranging from manufacturing, to service firms.

The business considered in this study are Albertina supermarket, peace transport service, Anaeriative Bakery Ltd, Ezionye supermarket, petty traders, self employed craftsmen and Artisan, small scale industries, Bejoy pure water company, Aqua Rapha pure water company, some selected filling station in Enugu Metropolis.

Research Questions

       The following research questions were constructed to guide the researcher in the study:

i)      To what extent has the establishment of private sector contributed in the reduction of unemployment in Enugu metropolis?

ii)     What are the causes of unemployment in Enugu metropolis?

iii)    To what extent have the problems of unemployment influence the establishment of private sector in Enugu metropolis?

iv)   What factors hinder the contribution of private sector in the reduction of unemployment in Enugu metropolis?

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