1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The Nigerian youth have been denied opportunities to develop in diverse realms of human endeavours. Ineptitude, mediocrity and intellectual dearth have become the three hallmarks of Nigerian Youth. In a national survey jointly sponsored by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Education Trust Fund (ETF) in 2004, 61% of 20 organization rated Nigerian science graduates poor in skulls needed in the work environment such as a literacy, oral communication information technology, entrepreneurship, analytical, problem-solving and decision making (Okafor, 2011). Although Sections 17 and 18 of the constitution state that the government shall provide free and compulsory education in order to promote science and technology and eradicate literacy (such that) opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunity to secure suitable employment is ensured (CFRN, 1999), the same constitution made it unenforceable by virtue of Section (6)(6)(c ).
National Youth Policy is full of platitudes and little has been done to bring it into full implementation despite several review of the policy since its formulation in 1981. Admittedly, the federal Government noted that policy attempts hardly provided a concrete framework for addressing the heightened problems confronting the youth in the 1990’s. this was partly because the implementation mechanisms of the policy were weak and ineffective (SNYPD, 2009).
Youth are the future of every society as their energy and skills contribute to the development of any society. However, perceptions on who really is a youth vary among major development stakeholders such as the government, international organizations, and individuals.
The term youth generally implies a period of life between childhood and adulthood. In most countries, Adulthood is officially attained at the age of twenty-one. This may however, vary from one society to another particularly in some African settings and cultures. The concepts of youth employment and empowerment are rapidly gaining importance in the developmental agenda of various governments, regional entities and international development organizations with the World Bank Youth Report (2005) stating that governments, donor agencies, and civil societies must be guided by a comprehensive national perspective in their efforts aimed at tackling poverty among young people.