Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom House of Assembly has enacted a law to compel investors to make a certain percentage of their workforce indigenes of the state.
The law was passed last Thursday, after a bill to that effect successfully scaled Third Reading.
It targets corporate organisations, which are expected to create and regulate employment opportunities for indigenes.
The law recommends the employment and training procedure, which will require investors to employ a stipulated percentage of Akwa Ibom youths at various levels of the labour force.
Speaker Onofiok Luke said the law reflects the Sixth Assembly’s commitment to job creation.
The speaker also said the state’s increasing young population makes it imperative that government takes more definitive steps towards the integration of the youths in the economy.
“Government needs to create avenues first, for the employability of young people, through good education and skills impartation.
“Secondly, the public and private sector must support entrepreneurship and lastly, jobs must be created and job marketplace must be regulated in such a way that they accommodate the youths.”
Luke reiterated the Assembly’s commitment to make laws which will further the “building of an Akwa Ibom project that is nothing short of an educated, united, healthy, and prosperous state under one leadership and under one God.”
He said in the nearest future, the Sixth Assembly will pass the Youth Development Fund bill, which is a private member bill initiated by the Youth Alive Foundation. The bill, he said, will be passed following a synergy between its initiatorsl and the executive since the proposed law has a financial proposal.
He thanked stakeholders and development experts whose inputs, he said, were resourceful for the drafting of the final report on the bill.
The bill’s lead sponsor, Victor Udofia, said he was motivated to come up with the Akwa Ibom State Job Enforcement Bill following increasing marginalisation of indigenes by corporate organisations operating in the state.
‘‘The law will give the newly-created state Ministry of Labour and Productivity the power to exercise its statutory functions especially considering that there are many companies which are not complying with the local content law.”