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NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY PUBLIC POLICY

Year: 2015|   Volume No: 11|   ISSN: 0795-0330|   Page No: 137


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Title:  

THE RURAL-URBAN MIGRATION AND URBAN UNEMPLOYMENT IN NIGERIA: A MACROECONOMIC APPROACH

YERIMA GIMBA ALHASSAN

DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES, FEDERAL UNIVERSITY, KASHERE, GOMBE STATE

ABSTRACT

The possible economic and social effects of continuing, massive urban growth as a result of rural-urban migration are matters of concern to the government. The study covers the periods, 1970 to 2014. The data used were sourced from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Central Bank of Nigeria, and National Population Commission (NPC). The study adopted Todaro’s revised model and the log linear method was used in order to find out the extent of rural urban migration on unemployment. This study found thatat a growth rate of 9%, it would take the rural sector with a per capita income of N 9,000 about 8years to reach the current living standard enjoyed in the urban areas. Similarly, a 5% growth rate annually would be required over the next 15 years for incomes to be equalized with the urban sector. The implication is that income distribution will continue to shift in favour of urban areas as against the rural areas, leading to overall inequality. In the light of these, we recommend that government should invest in rural sector in the area of rural infrastructure, adopting good practices in agriculture, etc. Also, the promotion of small-scale manufacturing and service sectors must be linked with the development of agricultural sector. Further, the establishment of small-scale industries should supplement employment opportunities in agriculture (for processing of agricultural commodities) and for the fabrication of inputs for agriculture.
 

SUMMARY:

In this study, both theoretical and empirical literatures were reviewed. The study used descriptive statistics and following Todaro’s model, the log linear method was employed in order to find out the extent of rural-urban migration on unemployment. This paper found that at a growth rate of 9%, it would take the rural sector with a per capita income of N 9,000 about 8years to reach the current living standard enjoyed in the urban areas. Similarly, a 5% growth rate annually would be required over the next 15 years for incomes to be equalized with the urban sector. Equally, we noted that rural population is likely to decline, as the process of rural-urban migration continues to be responsible for significant proportion of the growth of urban areas. Also, it is noted that migration process has been driven by both ‘pull’ factors attracting rural dwellers to the towns and cities and “push” factors driving them from the villages. The possible economic and social effects of continuing, massive, urban growth are matters of concern to the government. On the one hand, there is evidence that urbanization and economic growth go hand-in-hand. On the other, further expansion of cities leaves open the possibility that major problems-such as mass unemployment, growing criminality, etc will cripple the urban areas, leading to a complete loss of control of urban development. It appears that the rural –urban migration with its consequence on urban unemployment will continue unless appropriate policies are implemented to develop the rural areas of Nigeria. Hence, for rural development to be self-sustaining, the mobilization of both human and material resources to cope with the complex problems of rural development must be embarked upon. Rural development in this context is a continuous process rather than a maximum or minimum effort. Government should invest in rural areas in the area of rural infrastructure, adopting good practices in agriculture, etc. Also, the promotion of small-scale manufacturing and service sectors must be linked with the development of agricultural sector. Further, the establishment of small-scale industries should supplement employment opportunities in agriculture (for processing of agricultural commodities) and for the fabrication of inputs for agriculture. Government should support informal-sector enterprises by encouraging the development of micro-enterprise by deregulating its operations, encourage economic activities, and improve conditions in smaller urban centres. Given the unstable nature of Nigeria’s development path, attempts have to be made to determine the impact of employment on economic growth in Nigeria.

Correspondence:

ygalhassan@gmail.com08036329326


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