Akwa Ibom official urges youths to embrace dignity of labour
The Special Adviser to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Technical Matters and Due Process, Mr. Ufot Ebong, has urged indigenes of the state to imbibe the culture of dignity of labour and commitment to duty as such would help reduce the level of unemployment in the state.He made this call while speaking in his office in Uyo at the weekend.
Making reference to the state cottage industries such as the toothpicks and pencil factories, he expressed displeasure over the attitude of young Akwa Ibom youths employed to work in the factories, wondering why graduate should not be able to differentiate between politics and gainful employment.
Calling on staff to show a renewed commitment in ensuring the factories succeed and wondered why the workers should leave the factories to attain political rally.
According to Ebong: “The state government decided to set up the cottage industries to create employment for the unemployed population in the state”.
He explained that the management and staff were appointed with minimal government interference to run the factories and with a clear mandate to operate as private entities to raise funds, settle production costs and meet staff salaries and welfares.
“The mandate was to run the cottage industries like private companies, to raise fund and settle the cost of production and staff salaries among other things. The worst is if there is political rally you will not see anybody in the factories. If asked, they will threaten to beat up the General Manager. After the seed funds or running cost, government is not going to pick the wage bill of the industries. They are established to be self-sustaining”, he stated.
However, to put some of the teething problems in check, the Governor aide disclosed that instead of having a General Manager to run the factories, government plans to put Board of Directors in place.
“There is going to be a proper management for the cottage industries with Board of Directors in place. The workers should change their orientation that work or no work government will have to pay them their salaries. We have to change that orientation”, he stressed Ebong further made known that the state government has concluded plan to establish another cottage industry – a plastic company for the production of kitchen utensils such as plastic cups, basins, folks, spoons, pockets, hand fans etc.
He said the machines for the factory have arrived the state for installation while the raw materials will be from the petrochemicals in Rivers State.
He urged communities to protect government investment in their areas and should play-down on unnecessary demand for compensation before the establishment of things likely to bring development to the communities.
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