In pursuant for job creation and youth empowerment goals, Unemployed Graduates under the auspices of The Unemployed Graduates Development Initiative, Akwa Ibom Chapter – TUGDI-AKS are concerned over the delay of public hearing of Akwa Ibom Youth Development Fund (AKYDF) bill which has received massive support from the legislators and also successfully passed through second reading in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly since 27th March, 2017.
TUGDI in partnership with Youth Alive Foundation and other legitimate Civil Society Organizations in the spirit of solidarity have been fully engaged in intellectual and legitimate struggle to ensure that AKYDF bill is brought to lime light of public hearing and consequently passing of the said bill into law as soon as possible. AKYDF bill has it ultimate goal of channelling Ten Percent (10%) of the state total revenue, federal allocation and oil derivation fund of Akwa Ibom state for youth development and empowerment programs which will certainly result in job/wealth creation for youth, poverty alleviation, self-reliance, skill acquisition for thousands of unemployed youths in the state including those with one form of disability or the other. Moreover, when AKYDF bill is passed into law, it will surely pave way for foreign donors to confidently and willing provide help to unemployed youth in the state in form of grants and aids.
AKYDF bill has some laid down modalities to ensure transparency, accountability and judicious management of the fund as a Board of competent professionals in collaboration with civil society leaders will be established to effectively manage the funds.
There is need to stress on the sensitivity and importance of the AKYDF bill which is boldly sponsored by Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong, chief whip/member representing Ini state constituency in AKHA and is supported by over 52 civil society organizations with strong partnership with TUGDI-AKS which is a key stakeholder representing the unemployed youths and is ably led by Comr. Bassey Onofiok as president.
Over 24,171 registered members of TUGDI-AKS are concerned, worried and have started some mushrooms agitation over the delay of AKYDF bill coupled with the expiration of the six (6) weeks duration given to the house committees on youth, sports and security, and house committee on economic Development- a joint committee headed by Hon. Victor Udofia- Member representing Ikono State Constituency in AKHA- to review, edit and bring feedback to the house since April 2017.
“We refuse to believe that the committees have not looked into this pertinent bill neither are they dormant about it, owing to the relevance of the bill which directly addresses youth restiveness and unemployment… Unemployed graduates are running out of patience and perhaps trust in the employment, industrialization and empowerment promises and ideologies of this government”. Comr. Onofiok, voices out.
However, TUGDI-AKS expresses their gratitude to majority of AKHA Members who are in total support of Akwa Ibom Youth Development Fund bill aka 10%Percent4Youths and hereby humbly appeal for more of their passionate and speedy effort to ensure the passage of the bill into law.