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1.1  Background to the Study

There has been growing rate of Poverty in Nigeria. The disheartening and most appalling situation is that despite the huge abundance of mineral resources in the state, the condition of life of the people is pitiable. A vast number of the population is unemployed and those who are lucky to be employed are underemployed. The economic and source of livelihood are devastated by long period of oil exploration and exploitation. There are no potable water, no accessible road, schools are poorly staff with dilapidating building and worst still is the epileptic power supply and gas turbine. The above hostile and discouraging social and economic milieu have induced all sorts of social vices among the people especially the youths and the unemployed whose energy and ingenuity need to find expression some where.

Some arequalified and eager to work but unable to find any gainful activity to engage their creative energy and talent. There are also a very high level of corruption and squandering of their resources by their leaders. Many, including the young and old have imbibed the culture of get rich syndromes, engineered by the unwholesome system and exemplified by their greedy and corrupt leaders.

The youth have devised some disingenuous means to satisfy their ungodly appetite in militancy, commercial begging and prostitution. They have abandoned the long traditional Africa culture of hardwork, dignity of labour and honesty. Despite the blessing of abundant resources there is also hostile physical environmental condition, including erosion problem, water hyacinth, oil spillage that have destroyed their farmland and aquatic life and many other have played varying roles in worsening poverty in the area.

The existing oil companies have also worsened the situation by not employing them with an ostensible reason that they are not qualified. Despite the huge revenue allocation from the federal government to the state, high level illiteracy, in equality, in security, deprivation of fundamental human rights and basic needs for human survival and most important poverty are pervast in the state.

And despite the state government effort put in place like the National Directorate of employment, the needed result have not been achieved. It is on this premise that this research is carried out to find out how vocational skills acquisition can effectively be used to reduce and eradicate poverty in Yobe state.

The vocational skills acquisition which is an instrument of empowerment that seek to provide the people with skill, vocation and entrepreneurial, bead making, hat making, sewing, shoe making and making workers interested in their job and at the same vein improving on their existing skills.

These practical training skill which also include carpentry, upholstery and others will in no doubt help to reduce or eradicate the poverty level in Yobe state. The united nation development Report (1990) says enhancing the human factor is the real wealth of a nation. It is through human creativity, initiative, capability and commitment that true development can be achieved.

Vocational skills acquisition is the process and the means of releasing human energy, it means providing an opportunity for people to make the maximum contribution to their own development and to the self development of their communities Asante (1991) vocational skills acquisition will help to reduce the poverty rate if people are trained in diverse areas and they in turn create wealth for themselves and their immediate environment.

Every body can not get government job or white colar job and hence the need for vocational skills acquisition that will shape and improve the lives of the people who have resigned to fate for lack of job. Electrical, Mechanical, Technical as well as fashion design can be acquired. These skill if well acquire can make the individual to be self rehance and thus the issue of a burden to others will not be there.

Noe etal (2003) suggest that enabling the individual to acquire skill can make him bring about good innovation, good performance, self respect and improvement in their quality of lives. Therefore the right way to reduced poverty amongst our, people is to enable them acquire the skill that they so desire and they will do well in life than to roam about in the cities or villages. Breach (1990) recommends that the best way to empower a people is through vocational skills acquisition which is the process of enlarging people’s choices for a long and healthy life, knowledge acquisition and access to resources needed for a decent standard of living.

Poverty is current one of the most serious problems in the world. Recent estimates indicate that about 1.5 Billion people line below the poverty line based on an estimated income of less than one dollar per day globally Onadozie (2004). The eradication of absolute poverty is the central objectives of contemporary development policy. The international community determine to overcome poverty has been highlighted by the sustainable activity of the international development donor partners such as United Nation Garba (2004).

Poverty has remained a problem in Nigeria and Yobe in particular since independence successive governments have tried effort to address it with a view to reducing, alleviating and eradicating it. Today after over fifty years of independence. This demeaning life style has not only remained prevalent among the people but also is believed to be intensifying. Poverty in Yobe State is translated in term of the absence of basic amenities of life including

  • Having not enough to eat
  • Poor drinking water
  • Poor nutrition
  • Unfit housing
  • A high rate of infant mortality
  • Low life expectancy
  • Low education opportunities
  • Inadequate health care
  • Lack of productive assets
  • Lack of economic infrastructure
  • In ability to actively participate in decision making process (2010).

What lead to this poor and high population growth rate, poor human resources development, multinational oil company neglect of the people and refusal to improve the environment which suffers from oil exploration and exploitation activities. Government insensitivity to the plight of the people and the attitude of the people themselves who could not do anything tangible for their livelihood.

It is on this basis that vocational skills acquisition according to Syme (2007) is very necessary by providing counseling and extension services on start your business, know about business and improve your business and skill for informal, micro and small enterprise operators.

1.2  Statement of the Problem

Yobe state, one of the Northern states has been engulfed by glaring problem of poverty in the region. The economy and source of their livelihood is seriously affected by the activities of Multinational Companies have been engaged farm exploitation. The future of the people especially the youth is very bleak. There are a lot of indicators of poverty in the state. Poor infrastructure, lack of portable water, no accessible road net work, schools are in shambles. Salaries are not paid as when due. Many are jobless and so there is social insecurity in the land. Many could not afford the basic necessity of life.

Agriculture which would have been the main stay is abandoned. Poor farmers are not encouraged. Schools are insufficient and Institution and infrastructure are in decay. Thus, the researcher is of the opinion that the solution lies in vocational skills acquisition. People should be encouraged to take to vocational skills acquisition that will bring about dignity of Labour.

1.3  Research Question

  1. How does unemployment contribute to poverty in Yobe State?
  2. How will adequate vocational skills acquisition lead to the reduction of poverty in Yobe State?
  3. How will appropriate vocational skills acquisition lead to the reduction of poverty in Yobe State?
  4. What are the challenges to vocational skills acquisition in the State?

1.4  Objective- of the Study

The study will be guided by the following objectives:

  1. To ascertain if unemployment contribute to poverty in Yobe State.
  2. To find out if there are adequate vocational skills acquisition programmes in Yobe State.
  3. To determine how appropriate vocational skills acquisition can lead to poverty reduction in Yobe State.
  4. To examine the challenges to vocational skills acquisition in Yobe State.

1.5  Significance of the Study

The significance of this study hinges on the fact that it will contribute to the frontier of knowledge on how vocational skills acquisition can be effectively used as a tool for poverty reduction and eradication. The significance that vocational skills acquisition will be given it proper place in the scheme of things. the relevance for exploring the potentials of the individual and the need to train and retrain him is very crucial in our present day competitive world.

The relevance of acquiring skill as a tool can not be over emphasized. The advance notions have inculcated on their citizens the capabilities and abilities through skill hence the out come of this study is very important to both government, corporation non government agencies, the individual and Yobe State Government in particular.

1.6  Scope and Limitations of the Study

This research work focuses on how vocational skills acquisition can be effectively used as a tool for poverty reduction and eradication in Yobe State (from 2011 to 2013) and Yobe State is mode up of Eight Local Government Areas. Twenty one addition council were created by the State Government in 2000 but have not been approved or recognized by the federal government.

Therefore, this study is a survey on the original eight local government areas. This study is limited by finance, logistic problem and time constraints because of the geographical terrain of the state. The skeptical nature of individuals, corporate bodies, institution and the like to give or release needed information also stand as a limitation. Perhaps this is all the more reason for the Freedom of Information Bill (FIB) to be passed by the National Assembly.

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