As the assent of the Akwa Ibom Youth Development Fund
Bill by the state governor becomes a pressing need, the Youth Advocacy Cluster
paid an advocacy to Mr. Gabriel Ukpe, SSA/Director of Foreign Direct Investment
at the Governor’s office. The visit was to expose the content and benefits of
the Bill. The visit which happened on 8th May 2019 gave opportunity for Mr Gabriel to applaud the efforts and the progress of the bill. He
however, interrogated the content of the bill and gave the following inputs:
- 1.0 A survey to get a database on the skill needs of
artisans and youths generally should be carried out, to help inform a start
point for implementation, e.g establishment of an entrepreneurial school to
train youths on the top 5 skill needs.
- 2.0 He raised concerns about the board owing to the fact
that they would be full time and as such will need to be paid.
- 3.0 Beneficiary from the fund should be based on
meritocracy and not on the basis of gender, citing that you might have more
than 50% of beneficiaries to be females so far they merit it and not putting a
limit of 40%
- 4.0 PWDs will require a special kind of skill training
different from the usual as such each type of disability should be put into
consideration by identifying the various special needs.
- 5.0 Try to go through the 2019 manifesto of the Governor
to tie the already existing government initiated projects with the content of
the bill for a possible merger.
He also highlighted the existence of a law, the Akwa Ibom
State Micro Enterprise Development Agency Law which also promotes funds for SME
startups in the state. He asked that the team gets a copy of the law, compare
and contrast to determine the difference between the law and our bill and come
back to him with our findings. He committed to presenting the bill to the Governor if
the difference found is significant. Finally, he gave the team an avenue to
reach him when all tasks have been delivered.