“The topic right here is no stranger.”
I define unemployment as a state of an individual being of age and capacity without any resources or opportunities to fend for him or herself. Poverty, I like to call it a sad state where there are no resources nor opportunities to make ends meet. Unlike unemployment, poverty isn’t specific to the age of an individual.
There is a relationship between unemployment, poverty, and crime. Many not gainfully employed or without ends meet resorted to social vices such as cybercrime, armed robbery, and kidnapping.
In recent times, crimes have become more rampant than ever in Nigeria. Robberies, kidnapping, internet scams, and other social media crimes have risen to high pedigrees. In most cases, perpetrators of these crimes are the youths. We know that unemployment and lack of meaningful empowerment are responsible for the high crime rates among youths. Most times, people recommend that the government gainfully engage unemployed youths to achieve a decent livelihood. They are also, asking that perpetrators of crime and accomplices be punished to serve as a deterrent to others. However, there’s just so much the government can do for an individual bent on living a life built around crime.
“Welcome to Nigeria, where so many people in authority are the forefathers to many criminal activities happening in the country.”
Effects of criminal activities
Let’s leave the who and talk about the effects of these crimes on individuals and the country. At the individual level, people live in fear, anxiety, threat, and distrust in their own houses and personal spaces. According to Ajaegbu (2012), “neither homes nor markets are safe in Nigeria because of frequent armed robbery incidents.” Need I mention the different “investment” scams that bankrupted so many Nigerians within the first quarter of 2021. Even criminals live in constant fear of the law catching up with them, thereby living their best lives becomes a “challenge.”
Now my question is: “Is there anything to reduce the crime rate caused by unemployment, poverty, and hunger?”
Research suggested, “Developmental policies that might enhance well-being and peace such as free health, education, and provision of social amenities would be undermined in an effort to fight insecurity in Nigeria. According to Agbiboa (2015), there cannot be peace without development, and there can be no development without peace. Youths need gainful employment to reduce insecurity and underdevelopment in the country drastically.
The study also recommends that government and non-governmental organizations take urgent steps to make youths gainfully employed. While the government should monitor implementation for existing empowerment programs, the government at all levels and non-governmental organizations should make funds available to youths willing to set up businesses of their own.
Will this be enough to reduce the Crime rate in the country? No one can answer this until we finally reach that bridge.
To sum it up, it is safe to say that personal and economic excuses are the core reasons people use the terms unemployment and poverty to commit a crime in the country, however, unemployment, poverty & hunger is never enough reason to adopt a criminal lifestyle.