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Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly enact language bill for preservation, promotion of local dialects

As a result of the consequences of language endangerment and its implication on the cultural relevance of the people who speak it, the Akwa Ibom State House Of Assembly has decided to enact a bill for the preservation and promotion of the use of Akwa Ibom local dialects and for connected purposes.
The bill is also to prevent Akwa Ibom dialects from going extinct, while also seking ways to help the people of the state learn the language and sustain interest in it.
The bill is being sponsored by Hon. Anietie Eka and is co sponsored by

Rt. Hon. (Sir) Udo Kierian Akpan
Rt. Hon. (Elder) Aniekan Uko
Rt. Hon. Effiong Bassey
Rt. Hon. (Otuekong) Nse Essien
Hon. (Chief) Effiong Johnson
Rt. Hon. Uduak A. Odudoh
Hon. Udeme Otong
Hon. Charity Ido
Hon. Ifiok Udoh
Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh
Rt. Hon. Idongesit Ntekpere
Hon. KufreAbasi Edidem
In a statement signed by Mandu Umoren, the Clerk of the State House of  the essence of the bill and how it is intended to work is explained as listed blow
1. Interpretation: In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires –
 “Governor” means the Governor of Akwa Ibom State;
 “Offender” includes individual(s), Schools or Corporate Organisations;
 “Local Dialects” includes major dialects in the state;
 “State” means Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria;
 “Schools” means all Public and privately owned Primary and Secondary
Schools in the State;
 “Persons” includes Teachers, Head Teachers, Head Masters, Head
Mistresses, Principals, Proprietress, and Head of Organisations; and
“Ministry” means Ministry of Education.
2. Teaching of Akwa Ibom Local Dialect(s) in Schools
 As from the commencement of this Law all-
(1) Schools in the State shall include the teaching of Akwa Ibom Local Dialect(s) as a core subject at all levels;
(2) State owned tertiary institutions shall incorporate the use of Akwa Ibom Local Dialect(s) as a Course Unit into the General Nigerian Studies (GST) Curriculum.
3. Akwa Ibom Local Dialect(s) to be an acceptable means of communication
 (1) The use of Akwa Ibom Local Dialect(s) shall be an acceptable means of communication between individuals, establishments, corporate entities and Governments in the State.
 (2) As from the commencement of this law no person shall be discriminated against on the basis of the use of Akwa Ibom local Dialect(s) in workplaces,  schools, organisations and social places.
4. Translation of Laws of Akwa Ibom State
The Laws of the State shall be translated into Akwa Ibom Local Dialect(s) by the  State Government.
5. Acceptability of Akwa Ibom Local Dialect(s) for entry into tertiary  Institutions in the State.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Law, at least a credit in any Akwa Ibom Local Dialect(s) shall be given consideration for admission into any State-owned tertiary institution.
6. Compliance
The Ministry through its appropriate departments shall be responsible for the implementation and compliance of the provisions of this Law.
7. Offences and Penalties
 (1) Any person who contravenes the provisions of this Law commits an offence.
 (2) The Ministry shall after due investigation into a complaint and the offender  is found culpable, issue a letter of warning to the offender in accordance  with the provisions of this Law.
 (3) The Ministry shall initiate proceedings against a second and subsequent  offender, who shall be liable on conviction to-
 (a) (i)  three (3) months community service for a second offender; and
 (ii) six (6) months community service or a fine of One Hundred Thousand  Naira (N100,000.00) or both for a third or subsequent offender.
 (b) A Fine of not less than Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000.00)  for a corporate offender.
 (4) Any School in the State which fails to comply with the provisions of this Law,  on subsequent violation shall be closed down and shall pay a fine of Two  Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250,000.00).
8. Citation & Commencement
This law may be cited as the Akwa Ibom Local Dialects Preservation and Promotion Law and shall come into force on the ………… day of  ……………………. 20…….
This printed impression has been compared by me with the Bill which has been passed by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and found by me to be a true and correctly printed copy of the said Bill.

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