Akwa Ibom Citizens Applaud Employment Act

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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State

By; PATRICK TITUS,  Uyo


Akwa Ibom people have lauded the state lawmakers over the passage of the Job Enforcement Bill into law in the state, saying the Act is not only timely but a step in a right direction in view of current economic realities globally.
Cross section of residents who spoke with New Nigerian on the Act said that it has shown that the state lawmakers are doing what they are expected to do to enhance better life and development of the state.
One of them, Imaobong Umoh, a public servant in the state judicial service commission said, “The law is good and timely.  I want to believe that the lawmakers have done their research through public opinions on the issue of employment capacity needed by the multinational companies before they arrived at the passage of that bill into law.
“Again, working in oil companies for instance required special skills therefore, the state government should on its part, build and equip centres in the state to train Akwa Ibom people in various skills including information and communication technology (ICT) in line with the competing demand in such sector so that when opportunities come, the state can have the needed persons for the job.
“Individual unemployed person should also try to develop oneself in relevant fields ready to take advantage whenever opportunity comes,” Imaobong stated.  
“This is not to say that we should discriminate against people from other states of the country but it will aid compliance to local content in the area employment, but however they right should be employed, she added. 
Emmanuel Ibanga, a social critic said, “The law will promote peace and a sense of local ownership while discouraging youth restiveness especially those often emanating from host communities. It will also integrate our youths into domestic market and prepare them for foreign opportunities through training in technologies and managerial skills, “. 

Another, who gave his name as Mr. Emeke Nna said, “Job Enforcement Law, as passed by the state house of assembly is a clear indication that the lawmakers are discharging their oversight functions well. The Act if implemented would help to reduce unemployment rate in the state, besides creating wealth and mutual and healthy relationship between multinational companies and people of the state.”  
Monday Abato, a four hundred level student in the University of Uyo said, “It is one thing to make the law but implementation is another. The Law should ensure that employed are based on merit, not political or favouritism whereby anybody who do not have connections, even though qualified is not given a chance.”           
The State House of Assembly at its plenary yesterday passed a Bill for the a Law to create employment opportunities for indigenes of the state by corporate organisations operating in the state 
In a motion moved by the House Leader, Mr Udo Kirian Akpan and seconded by member representing Oron state constituency, Mr. Effiong Bassey-PDP the bill was read the third time and passed into law. 

The lead sponsor of the bill, Mr. Victor Udofia, member representing Ikono state constituency had in his presentation said that the bill when assented to, would create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths of the State.

The bill according to Mr. Udofia sought among others to ensure that indigenes of the state with requisite qualifications and not discriminated again by corporate organisations doing business in the state.
It is equally aim at ensuring that Akwa Ibom youths benefit from Foreign Direct Investment including improved technology and managerial skills. 

“When assented to by the Governor, this bill will also ensure linkages between foreign enterprises and the local economy”.  He said 

Expected to take effect from June 7, the bill specifies the employment and training procedure which will be required for investors in the state to employ a stipulated percentage of Akwa Ibom youths at various levels of the labour force. 

Shortly after the bill was passed into law, the Speaker, Mr. Onofiok Luke, said the law will boost the efforts of the state government in encouraging investors to promote a culture of local ownership and participation in all aspects of the State’s productive economic activities. 

Luke said that the bill when assented to, will position youths of the state to be firsthand beneficiaries of existing and prospective job opportunities in the state.

He lauded the lead sponsor of the bill, Victor Udofia, co-sponsors as well as Chairman of the House Committee on Labour and Productivity, Mr. Uduak Udoudo, member representing Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo for their legislative dexterity which enabled the bill to scale through third reading. 

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