Reactions have continued to trail the passage of ‘Bill For A Law To Create And Regulate Job Opportunities For Indigenes of Akwa Ibom State’ into law by the state House of Assemly.
The bill which was sponsored by Victor Udofia representing Ikono State Constitutency and co-sponsored by seven other House members was passed into law by majority of the members in the House two weeks ago.
Though the bill is yet to be assented to by the state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, it seeks to, among others, ensure that Akwa Ibom indigenes with requisite qualifications and required skills are not discriminated against by corporate organizations operating in the state.
Also, it specifies the employment and training procedure which would require investors in the state to employ a stipulated percentage of Akwa Ibom youths at various levels of the labour force.
Reacting to the passage of the bill, Franklyn Isong, a journalist and public analyst, said the bill will help in the employment generation in the state as well as ensure that indigenes are employed in major companies in thw state.
Isong explained that the bill would boost the economy of the state in that it will put food on the tables of many, curb crimes and take youths belonging to various political parties off the streets.
“If the drafters of the bill would say upon the conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction and not a conviction by the Ministry of Labour and Productivity or the state government, then it is wrong. No arm of government or agency can convict apart from the court.
“The bill would have been entitled: Local Content Bill and not bill for a law to create and regulate job opportunites for indigenes of Akwa Ibom. Another minus is the issue of the take-off date of the bill is not stated in it. Every bill must have a date. I hope before it is signd into law, those imperfections would have been rectified.”
“On the whole, the bill is a good one. I appreciate it,” he added.
In his contribution, Bassey Edet extolled the drafters and sponsors of the bill, noting that “The intent of the bill is okay.”
Edet, who is a legal practitioner, however, queried, “How many foreign companies are in or will come to Akwa Ibom State for the law to exert more effect? Apart Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, is there any other one that government will be able to enforce the provisions of the bill if signed into law? The Chinese companies are more guilty than others in that they will come with even labourers to work for them.”