Ekiti State government on Thursday read the riot act to contractors handling various road projects in the state, directing them to comply with the local content laws of the State.

Speaking with journalists in Ado-Ekiti while monitoring the compliance of the law, the Director General, Bureau of Local Content in Ekiti State, Olalekan Ijidale said the law stipulates that 40% of Ekiti indigene are expected to be employed by the contractors.

He disclosed that the contractors are expected to employ artisans both skilled and unskilled from Ekiti State in the execution of the projects that are being funded through tax payers monies.

He revealed that the Bureau will soon begin enforcement for the compliance of the law and review the working conditions of these companies that make it difficult for Ekiti indigenes to gain employment.

He said: “We are out to enforce local content law as being amended and to ensure that the compliance rate is improved. We have met with the contractors about two or three meetings to explain to them and synergise together on how Ekiti can be partners in the execution of projects in the state.

“We have a law now in Ekiti State that was accented by the governor and passed by the House of Assembly. The law stated that local content project execution should be minimum of 40% and we want to see at what rate our people comply.

“If government are pushing out contracts worth several billions by monies being paid by tax payers, the contractors should also do their bid by including our artisans both skilled and unskilled in the execution of those projects.

“We discovered that these companies bring in a lot of people from other states even in Cotonou to execute projects in the state and Nigeria and we see a lot of people in that locality still struggling to get a job. This is what we want to reduce and ensure that our artisans are partnered. We want to ensure that our skilled and professionals are patronised.

“That is why our governor insist that our people both skilled and unskilled are patronised and we do this by enforcement because people are not ready to comply.

“We have started orientation and collaboration with professional bodies. We are trying to orientate our people towards the execution of their skills. Some of these companies, their conditions are not favourable. We need to mediate between the two.”

The monitoring exercise was carried out at Step Development Ltd at Okesha, Immobilare Construction Ltd handling the Ado-Iworoko road and Lead Gate Construction Ltd handling the Ilawe-Erinjiyan and Ilawe-Igede roads in the State.

According to the Manager of Lead Gate Construction Ltd, Adejubi Adeolu, the company has a workforce of 30 skilled and unskilled staff while 8 skilled workers are indigenes and all the unskilled are indigenes. He revealed that all their materials are sourced locally.