YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AS A STRATEGY FOR REDUCING CRIME IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

This project examine the role of empowerment for youth as key to a crime-free society. This is with a view to establishing the level of socio-economic well-being and how the empowerment of youth can reduce crime in the society. lt highlights the factors that motivate youths to participate in organization and community development It also examines the extent to which socio-economic factors determine the outcome of people’s lives. Descriptive research design was used for the project A structured questionnaire was used in collecting data from a sample of 450 respondents for the project. Data collected were analyzed using Chi- square and t-test analysis. The findings established that there is a significant relationship between youth empowerment and attitude to crime involvement ( X2 cal = 453.025> X2 crit = 26.30 at 0.05 level of significance).It showed that there is significant relationship between youth empowerment and poverty alleviation (X2 cal = 744.301 > X2 crit = 26.30 at 0.05 level of significance). The findings also revealed that there is significant relationship between male and female attitudes to crime involvement (tcal = 34.616

> ttab = 1.965 at 0.05 level of significance). It is, therefore, recommended that government’s empowerment programmes should be restructured, if not re-designed, and should be centred on a “participatory approach”, There should also be greater investment in the human capital investment of youths. Besides, government should reach out to youths, regardless of their ethnic, cultural, religious, geographical or political affiliation.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background To The Study

Youth empowerment involve build the capacity of young people and motivating them to take responsibility of their lives .This is done through the process of improving their access to resources that will help in changing their lives ,beliefs, values, and attitudes Youth empowerment is carried out to improve the quality of lives of the youth. Youth empowerment is attained through youth empowerment programs conducted by non-profit organizations, government organizations, schools or private organizations. Youth empowerment program consist of youth activism, civic engagement, democracy building. Intergenerational equity.

In ordinary language, a crime is any unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority .The act is considered a criminal offence when it is not only harmful to the individulas but to the society or community such as rape, robbery, murder, theft, vandalism, kidnapping etc. Criminal offences are is defined by criminal law of every country .Many young people in crime are as a result of poverty, lack of basic education and skills, poor neighborhoods and communities and lack of parental care and bad social influences from bad social interactions.

Stakeholders involving the government, Ngos, international organizations, community associations etc need to conduct proper assessment of the conditions of the youth with a view to formulate appropriate policy and program of youth empowerment. The impact of youth empowerment is usually enormous leading to better quality of lives of the youth and total transformation of the society and community. (World Bank, 1994).The research therefore seek to investigate Youth empowerment as a strategy for reducing crime in Nigeria.

Young people account for a large percentage of Nigeria’s population figure, representing an important and dynamic force in the Nigerian society. However, young people face many challenges in the Nigerian society, such as high rate of poverty and unemployment, illiteracy, lack of access to information, and essential welfare services, that are manifested in young people’s diminished hopes for the future. Some of the highest rates of violence, crime and high risk sexual behaviours of any age group are seen in the youth population, leading many to label the youths as a source of society’s problems rather than its potentials (Skogan, 1986).