OLUWATOYIN DARE KOLAWOLE, OKAVANGO RESEARCH INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF BOTSWANA, BOTSWANA
Purpose -- Poverty, inequality and unemployment challenges need to be adequately addressed if sustainable human development is to be achieved. Although these key issues are not mutually exclusive, the thrust of this paper is to identify factors influencing rural employment promotion (REP) in southern Nigeria.
Design/methodology/approach -- A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select 60 rural communities in southern Nigeria. In all, 300 interviewees were sampled and interviewed using structured and unstructured interview schedules. Descriptive statistical techniques such as frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation, were used to describe and summarise the data. Probit analysis was employed to make deductions through the use of the STATA package.
Findings -- Results showed a Pseudo R2 value of 0.3581, which is quite reasonable for qualitative dependent variable models. At P ≤ 0.01 level of significance, education (z = 2.02), farm size (z = 2.39) positively influenced the drive towards rural employment generation. In addition, at P ≤ 0.01 level, the availability of banking institutions (z = 1.94) and support from the family members (z = 2.17) strongly predicted REP. Other predictors of REP were the disaggregated units of project type/orientation, which are production (z = 1.67) and service-oriented ventures (z = 1.98) and they both had strong and positive influence on REP at P ≤ 0.05 and 0.01 levels of significance, respectively.
Research limitations -- The research only focused on south-western Nigeria. Other geo-political and ecological zones in the country would need future research exploration to allow for a country-level generalisation of findings on rural employment.
Practical implications -- The findings of the study have practical implications for future employment initiative/project implementation in Nigeria and in similar socio-ecological contexts elsewhere. They serve as a baseline on which future research and development work could rely.
Social implications -- The information generated in the study could serve as working tools for pro-poor policy conceptualisation, formulation and implementation in developing economies and probably elsewhere. If genuinely implemented, it could enhance rural peoples’ well-being and quality of life.
Originality/value -- As original research, this study offers new insights into crucial issues that influence rural employment promotion in Nigeria and probably elsewhere within similar [socio-cultural, ecological, political and economic] contexts in the South.
Keywords Rural employment, Poverty, Socio-economic, Ecology, Infrastructure, Policy, Probit, Nigeria.
Paper type Research paper