With unemployment figures skyrocketing according to the 2021 Housing and Population Census, the National Network of Youth Groups, is demanding the National Youth Authority (NYA) comes out with a roadmap on how to tackle the canker and also give a breakdown on how it expended the 5% District Assemblies Common Fund allocated to the Authority.
The Network said the NYA, for reasons unknown to them, have since 2017 been playing around with critical issues pertaining to youth employment and empowerment which has clearly exposed the lack of interest and investments in the youth and youth initiatives.
They said they have no other option abut to demand that NYA among other things;” tell the public how much of the allocated 5% in the District Assemblies Common Fund it has received since 2017 and also make public how the money was utilized to the benefit of the youth.”
Section 17 of the NYA Act 939 of 2016, has in (b) that one of the sources of funding for the National Youth Authority must be “five percent of the District Assemblies Common Fund subject to the formula approved by Parliament in accordance with article 252 of the Constitution.”
The Network said instead of the NYA to undertake projects that will empower the youth to provide them with long lasting relief, it rather went about using its 5% allocation to execute projects that were clearly not under its jurisdiction.
“The NYA began receiving the 5% District Common Fund in 2017 and has decided to spend part of it on infrastructure project such as the construction of ten (10) Youth Resource Centers of Excellence and Construction of two (2) Astro-Turfs.
“Why will NYA spend money on infrastructure that is the clear mandate of the National Sports Authority (NSA)? Knowing very well that before the 5% DACF, a chunk of the budget of the Ministry of Youth and Sports has gone to the NSA, leaving the NYA with almost nothing. Now that funds have been made available for various capacity of young people to be built, the authority has decided to do the opposite rather than what is stipulated in the law.”
The Network also alleged that “it is believable from perceptions that the NYA is not focused on its mandate. It may rather be misapplying funds on projects and programmes that are not beneficial to young people and clearly not within their mandate.”
The Network proposed that the NYA should “ensure the proper and effective performance of the functions of the Authority as stated in section 4 sub-section 3 of ACT. 939,” so as to prevent these leakages and lack of attention paid to the youth.
“As a matter of urgency, we also calling on the board of NYA to establish the District Youth Committees and Regional Youth Committees as provided in the ACT. 939 section 21 and 23,” they stressed.
By Kaba Atawoge