Highlights of the 5th Seminar in the Policy and Comparative Development Studies Seminar Series
The fifth Policy and Comparative Development Studies Seminar Series was held on 16 December 2021. The seminar was presented by Mr. Oladosu Ayomide Oluwaseyi with the topic of ‘Perceived Worry of COVID-19 Among Young People: Evidence from Young Construction Workers in Nigeria’.
COVID-19 has disrupted many aspects of life for all groups of people, and young people are among the most affected as a result of the economic and social disruptions such as unemployment and school closures caused by COVID-19 pandemic. In Nigeria, youth unemployment rose from 40.8% to 53.4% as at January 2021. Previous studies have found that these disruptions are leaving many young people afraid, angry, and concerned about their future. Because it is difficult for young people in some industries, such as construction, to transition into new modes of work, like working remotely, these consequences are likely to be exacerbated. This study assessed the perceived worry about COVID-19 among young construction workers in Nigeria and explored what factors predicted the level of their worry. Unlike many other studies, this one employs a qualitative technique by interviewing 30 young people in Abuja, Nigeria. The findings indicate that many young people interviewed are less worried about COVID-19 due to factors such as their religious beliefs, and lack of trust in government and mainstream media. While their religious beliefs and practices help them cope with the crisis and give them hope for a better life, their lack of trust in the government suggests that they may be less compliant with COVID-19 guidelines, posing a significant risk of transmission and mortality to the wider population in Nigeria and beyond.