Crime is a phenomenon that is bedeviling various countries across the globe in varying degrees as it affects policies and development. Any nation striving towards development must reduce the frequency of crime to the barest minimum. In recent years in Nigeria, there has been an upsurge in the frequency of crime committed. This has led to palpable fear among the populace as security of lives and properties can no longer be guaranteed. The phenomenon of crime has impacted negatively on the economic, social and political life of the nation over time. The youth population of any nation represents the driving force for development. However, for the youths to become useful resources, they must be gainfully employed. The youths are also the most volatile when their energies are misdirected or channeled into wrong endeavours. Available data show that youth employment is very rampant in Nigeria and this has contributed immensely to their involvement in criminal activities. The paper argues that criminal activities such as armed robbery, kidnapping, political thuggery, militancy and other social vices found among the unemployed and jobless youths have contributed greatly to the slow pace of development in Nigeria. The paper proffers that addressing youths’ unemployment will stem the tide of crime and foster rapid development in Nigeria.
Key words: Crime, national development, youths’ unemployment, Nigeria.