1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Poverty is a social problem which has remained as a major developmental challenge in Nigeria for a very long time. Poverty can be due to unemployment which Obadan and Odusola (2001) observed that unemployment in Nigeria was more acute in the 1980s and has been on the increase ever since. In 2008, 15% of the nation’s work force was unemployed and in 2011 the figure rose to 20% (Lamido, 2013); and the victims of this phenomenon are the youths who till date have had the highest unemployment rate in Nigeria. According to Akanda and Okuwa (2009) between 40-60% of those unemployed in Nigeria are aged between 15-25 years and Rotimi (2011) puts the ages between 18 and 45 years. The unemployed are poor and most of them carry the phenomena into their old ages. Most of those paraded by the law enforcement agencies before the mass media in the country as members of criminal groups fall within this age bracket. Most of those used in suicide bombings by terrorist groups in the country also fall within this age group. And most of those involved in the Niger Delta militancy are also of this age group. The fact is that if these youths have alternative means of livelihood or are gainfully employed in the economy, most of them would not take part in these criminal activities.
The most disturbing aspect of this phenomenon is that some of those involved in these crimes are educated. The worst thing that would ever happen to a nation is for the nation’s educated citizens to be involved in crimes, and most of them are involved in cyber-crimes and advanced fee frauds. Whereas the uneducated are mostly involved in violent crimes, the educated are involved in non-violent crimes which are worse in magnitude and scope than the violent crimes; and they have greater consequences and impacts on the socio-economic processes and administration of the country. This gives rise to more anger and frustration for the uneducated youth who looks with anger and envy on the educated, and make the uneducated to use more severe violent means to eke out an existence. The scourge of poverty and unemployment has ravaged almost all nations of the world in different dimensions and shades. But in Nigeria, as Akande and Okuwa (2009) pointed out, the unemployment challenge is captured by the growing number of unemployed youths roaming the streets all over the country. It is seen in the informal sector of the economy as under-employment; declining real wages; reduced incentives; reduced private investment in all sectors of the nation’s economy; and a reduction in the quality of education and training given to the citizens in our educational institutions across the country. Poverty and rising crime wave are consequences of this phenomenon. The poor development status of Nigeria no doubt breeds atmosphere of frustrated expectations and foster widespread indignation on the part of those that are trapped in the vortex circle of abject poverty. The condition of hopelessness is further aggravated by impotent poverty eradication programmes and conspiratorial neglect by the Nigerian state. In the face of this predicament, individuals and groups respond differently depending on situational factor and capacity. These responses are crystallized and find expression in various shades of antisocial behaviours including armed robbery, kidnapping, in surgency among others. In the midst of all these, Nigeria is confronted with daunting security challenges which include armed robbery, ethnic crisis, assassination, militancy, kidnapping and terrorism. The current and most disturbing in security problem in Nigeria is the terror unleashed by Jama’atulAlhulSunnahLidda’ Wat, Wal Jihad - a dreaded militant Islamic sect popularly known as Boko Haram.
In other words, unemployment in Nigeria carries with it a number of attendant social, economic, political and psychological and security challenges. This paper therefore looks at the problems of poverty and the attendant security challenges they pose, and suggests that there is the need for a paradigm shift in the outlook of our leaders; a review of some of our national policies; and a review of our educational curriculum with a view to making Nigerians imbibe the philosophy of transparency, accountability and self-reliance. This would help to reduce the security challenges posed by poverty in the country.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Human security and poverty are the biggest problems facing most nations of the world today, whether they are developed or developing. They are impediments to social progress, and lead to waste of human and material resources. However, it is believed that security strategies remain incomplete as long as they do not address poverty. This paper therefore examines the links between poverty and human security in Nigeria as the government seems to be incapable of handling the security challenges posed by poverty in the country; to suggest ways of reducing the security challenges posed by them in order to achieve stable political governance in the country.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine poverty and its effect on Human Security in Nigeria. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine poverty and human security
2. To examine the causes of poverty and its effect on human security
3. To examine the ways Nigerian government have gone in fighting the insecurity of lives and property
4. To examine the implications and challenges of insecurity in Nigeria
5. To examine the possible ways to curb poverty.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is poverty and human security?
2. What are the causes of poverty and its effect on human security?
3. What are the ways Nigerian government have gone in fighting unemployment and the insecurity of lives?
4. What are the implications and challenges of insecurity in Nigeria?
5. What are the possible ways to curb the situation in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no effect of poverty on human security in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant effect of poverty on human security in Nigeria.
H0: There is no significant relationship between poverty and human security in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between poverty and human security in Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It has been ascertained that poverty has an effect on human security. Hence, this study will be useful to policy makers and researchers. It will also provide information which will be useful in solving the problem of poverty and Human securities.
1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the poverty and its effect on human security in Nigeria. A case study of Uyo L.G.A, Akwa Ibom State.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8DEFINITION OF TERMS
Poverty: Is the scarcity or the lack of a certain (variant) amount of material possessions or money. Poverty is a multifaceted concept, which may include social, economic, and political elements.
Human: Humans are social animals. They usually live in groups. They help and protect each other. They care for their children. Humans are bipedal, which means they walk on two legs. Humans have a very complex brain, which is much larger than that of the other living apes. They use language, make ideas, and feel emotions.
Security: It refers to freedom from, or resilience against, potential harm (or other unwanted coercive change) from external forces. Beneficiaries (technically referents) of security may be persons and social groups, objects and institutions, ecosystems, and any other entity or phenomenon vulnerable to unwanted change by its environment.