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                                             CHAPTER ONE


1.1:  Background of Study

 The present economic recession being experienced in the country today was first experienced in 1974 (Professor Ango Abdullahi, 2016).

He stressed that Nigeria was far behind many countries, not only among the developed nations, but even among the African countries.

Nigeria began to experience abject poverty since the vision of the founding fathers was neglected by their successors. “Nigeria is one of the poorest countries in the world; Nigerians could not afford to earn N500 in a day. We predicted these days that, Nigeria will look back in regret because the leadership has failed Nigeria people,” (Prof. Ango Abdullahi, 2016).

Although this statement is yet to be proven true by the Nigerian governments but, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has confirmed that the 2016 economic recession was a full year recession, and the worst in the country’s history since 1987. In 1987, according to World Bank data, Nigeria had a full year decline in gross domestic product (GDP) was put at 10.8 percent. The country’s’ recessions report in 1991 and 1995, recording a full year economic decline of 0.6 and 0.3 percent respectively. Following the NBS GDP report released on Tuesday, Nigeria recorded a contraction of 1.51 percent in 2016. “In the fourth quarter of 2016, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by -1.30% (year-on-year) in real terms, from N18,533.75 billion in Q4 2015 to N18,292.95 billion in Q4 2016,” NBS said. “This decline was less severe than the decline recorded in the previous quarter, of -2.24%, but was nevertheless lower than the growth rate recorded in the final quarter of 2015, of 2.11%. “Quarter on quarter, real GDP increased by 4.09%, which partly reflects seasonal factors as well as a rise in the general price level. For the whole year 2016, GDP contracted by -1.51%, indicating real GDP of N67,984.20 billion for the year.”  Nigeria, a country that depends solely on oil experience the worst recession when, oil price crashed to less than $50 per barrel. Nigeria’s production output tumbled by over 400,000 barrels due to militancy activities in Niger Delta region. Nigeria's economic situation is in "its worst possible time", according to the Minister of Finance (Kemi Adeosun, 2016). The Nigerian unemployment crisis has hit young people hard. Young employees are generally the first to lose their jobs in times of economic recession and the last to gain employment if the economy bounds back. The world estimated 211 million unemployed people in 2009, nearly 40 per cent – or about 81 million – were between 15 and 24 years of age. The number of youth unemployment increased by 6.7 million in 2009 alone. European Union‘s countries (EU) such as, Canada and the United States experienced the largest annual increase of the rate of unemployment of young people (4.6 percentage points between 2008 and 2009). In some countries, the pictorial view of unemployment is darkened by the large number of youth engaged in poor quality and low paid jobs with intermittent and insecure work arrangements, including in the informal economy.

The effects of recession on youth unemployment rate in Nigeria provides crucial information on the labour market situation, it is also important to look at what is happening to other indicators to gain some understanding of what are the likely consequences and so, the appropriate youth employment policy responses of the recession. In particular, youth joblessness in addition to youth unemployment is a big challenge in that it is associated with long-term labour market withdrawal and social exclusion. The inclusion of the jobless rate as a standard indicator would be of relevance to better understand the labor market problems faced by youths during the recession.

The ILO (2009a) highlights that evidence from previous recession suggests that even once economic growth resumes, it takes an average four to five years before employment returns to its pre-recession levels. Moreover, the impact on the specific individuals caught in the crisis may be even more long-lasting. Particularly for the young, early unemployment in one‘s working life is likely to have a long lasting effect which will be felt throughout their adult life (O‘Higgins, 2001).

This study reviews the effects of recession on youth unemployment. It is proven that young people aged 16-24 suffered immensely since the inception of recession. Using Nigeria as case study, the researcher analyse the effects of recession on youth unemployment using both primary and secondary data.   Arguing that there is convincing evidence that the effects of recession on youth unemployment will definitely impose more costs on individuals and society in the near future. Though the effects of government current policies on fighting recession and youth unemployment are uncertain, there is still need for policy intervention to address the difficulties that the youth are facing in accessing employment in Nigeria.

Necessary steps are therefore needed to combat the detrimental long-term effects of the current recession on the educated youths who are likely to be most affected by it. One of these groups, if not the main group, in this category is that of the youth. This study looks at the effects of recession on youth unemployment in Nigeria with an attempt to mitigate these deleterious effects.


It is certain that frustration always leads to aggression, and aggression always presupposes the existence of frustration. Reactions to joblessness can be explained by the above frustration aggression theory. The saying “an idle man is the Devils’ workshop” has pushed so many unemployed youths into doing drugs, kidnapping, robbery, militancy etc.

Youth unemployment has been a major problem in Nigeria for decades. It has become the subject of the day with wide range of policy interventions. Yet the accumulated wealth of policy experience has failed to prevent the rapid rise in youth unemployment since the recession fully awakens in the fourth quarter of 2015. This research work seeks to cross-examine the effect of recession on youth unemployment in Nigeria.


The main objective of this research is to ascertain the effects of recession on youth unemployment in Nigeria, since they comprise the most dynamic part of the society and they embody the hopes for a viable and of equal chances growth in the near future.The researcher came up with some sub-objectives during the course of the study which include;

i)             To ascertain the effects of recession on youth unemployment in Nigeria.

ii)           To access the role of government in mitigating youth unemployment in Nigeria

iii)          To examine the relationship between recession and the and youth unemployment in Nigeria.

iv)         To proffer possible solutions to the findings and problems associated with recession in Nigeria.


For the successful completion of this study, the following research hypotheses was formulated by the researcher

HO   recession does not have any significant effect on youth unemployment in Nigeria. 

Ho recession does have a significant effect on youth unemployment in Nigeria.

Hypotheses 2:

HO   government does not play any significant role in mitigating youth unemployment in Nigeria.

H1 government plays a significant role in mitigating youth unemployment in Nigeria.


This study unveils the common cause of recession and it negatives influence on youths especially in the aspects of unemployment in Nigeria, bringing into limelight the factors that led to the great recession; thereby deploying useful initiatives to improving the situation at hand. Specifically, the study is beneficial to the government, to set and implement policies that will help fight the recession. To unemployed youths in the area of self-empowerment, to awaken them to the fact that it pays more to create jobs and become an employer of labour. To future researchers, bankers, stock-brokers and scholars to research on how to manage the future eruption of recession.


This study reviews the effects of recession on youth unemployment, using Nigeria as a case studies. Though the effects of current policies on youth unemployment are uncertain, there is still a strong case for policy intervention to address the difficulties that the youths are facing in accessing employment. There are some factors which contradicted the free flow of this study which include;

Time: the time at the disposal of the researcher which was allocated for the study was a major limitation as the researcher had to combine other academic activities with the study.

Finance: The finance at the disposal of the researcher in the course of the study could not permit wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.

AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research materials      available to the researcher at the time of this study was insufficient, thereby limiting the study.


 Recession: In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction which results in a general slowdown in economic activity. Recessions generally occur when there is a widespread drop in spending (an adverse demand shock).

Economy: An economy is an area of the production, distribution, or trade, and consumption of goods and services by different agents in a given geographical location in various countries. 

Retrenchment: Retrenchment is an act of cutting down or reduction, particularly of public expenditure.

Employee: a person employed for wages or salary, especially at non-executive level.

 Employer: a person or organization that employs people.

Policy implementation: Policy implementation is the fourth phase of the policy cycle in which adopted policies are put into effect.


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