The population of every economy is divided into two categories, the economically active and the economically inactive. The economically active population (labor force) or working population refers to the population that is willing and able to work; including those actively engaged in the production of goods and services (employed) and those who are unemployed. Whereas, unemployed refers to people who are willing and capable to work but are unable to secure suitable and paid jobs.
The next category, the economically inactive population refers to people who are neither working nor looking for jobs. Examples include: house wives, full time students, and invalids, those below the legal age for work and retired persons. The unemployment rate is expressed as a percentage of the total number of persons available for employment at any given time. Unemployment is a problem that each society faces, and each society must find a way of reducing it to the nearest minimum. Thus the involvement of government in setting up employment agencies to aid and enhance the operation of small scale entrepreneurs in reducing the rate of unemployment.
A business whether big or small, simple or complex, private or public is created to provide competitive prices. Small scale business is also seen as one which is owned, managed, controlled by one or two persons, it is family influenced in decision making, has an undifferentiated organizational structure, has relatively small share of the market and employ les than 50 people. Big businesses can hardly survive without the Small Scale Enterprises as they give the important links between the big business and the consumers.
Before the advent of Small Scale Business enterprises Nigerian economy from 1970-1979 was grossly over dependent on crude oil. The oil boom of the 1970’s offered an opportunity for true national economic development. Despite the oil boom, there was massive corruption, deficient policies, poor policy implementation, favoritism and total lack of sensitivity on the part of government.
The oil boom could not alleviate poverty or reduce unemployment especially graduate unemployment, due to the mismanagement that engulfed the resources which would have been used to tackle the menace of unemployment. But this research work will show the role of Small Scale Enterprises and government agencies in reducing unemployment in the economy. There were genuine attempts by the federal government to make sure that Nigerian’s play active and important role in the development of the economy, thus, special attention was paid into the development of Small Scale Enterprises in the 1970-74 national development plan. This was in recognition of their role sin the development of the economy. In an attempt to fight the unemployment crises-unemployment, under employment, law wage employment and outright social exclusion which have resulted in human resources wastage, several attempts have been made by the government, which to a large extent have not yielded the much expected results. Among these includes the Green Revolution, Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) the National Directorate of Employment, which was established in 1986 and launched in 1987 and the current seven point agenda born out of the vision 20-2020 of the present administration.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM