Friday, May 24, 2024

Anambra: Bill to regulate Igbo apprenticeship system, ‘Igba Boi’, passes second reading

According to Anambra legislators, the Igbo apprenticeship system, ‘Igba Boi’, is why the South-East has one of the biggest markets in West Africa.

• March 21, 2024

A bill seeking to revive and provide a framework to regulate the Igbo apprenticeship scheme known as ‘Igba Boi’ has passed a second reading at the Anambra House of Assembly.

The bill, ‘Anambra State Igbo Apprenticeship Bill 2024,’ was sponsored by Ejike Okechukwu, a member representing Anaocha Constituency II.

In his submission, Mr Okechukwu said that if the apprenticeship scheme were regulated, it would become lucrative and reduce the rate of unemployment.

He said the apprenticeship system was a major source of employment in the South-East in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, as many youths were absorbed into it.

According to him, this is why the South-East has one of the biggest markets in West Africa.

“The trainee system began to die when a servant or trainee would serve his master for years, and when it would be time to settle him, stories would come up, and the servant would be sacked without any compensation.

“This made most of our young people begin to see the system as a waste of time and effort. This bill is, however, seeking to establish a commission to oversee and create a database to match individuals with their trades or businesses of interest and with stipulated agreements.

“The bill also looks at the rights of the ‘Oga’ and the trainee. The ultimate objective is to create employment as well as improve trade and commerce in the state,” he said.

Patrick Okafor, a member representing Onitsha North Constituency II, said the bill would restore confidence in the Igbo apprenticeship system.

“When there is no law, there is always abuse. With this bill, the apprenticeship scheme will become attractive again as many youths will be encouraged.

“Most people who passed through this system learnt the secret of becoming successful through their masters. Many billionaires and millionaires today are products of the ‘Igba Boi’ scheme,” he said.

Nkechi Ogbuefi, a member representing Anaocha Constituency I, said that the bill would help to create self-reliant youths and employers of labour, who would contribute to Anambra’s gross domestic product.

The speaker of the assembly, Somtochukwu Udeze, said the bill was laudable, focusing on youth employment and economic development.

The bill was committed to the assembly’s joint judiciary and justice committees and commerce, trade, and industry for further deliberations.

The committees are to report back to the whole assembly a month.

The assembly adjourned until March 22.


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