April 15, 2019
By Dusuba Koroma
Justice Biobele Georgewill has on Friday, 12th April, visited the Ministry of Youth Affairs to get first-hand information about the Youth in Drainage Project on which Le26 Billion was spent.
Based on evidences tendered in the Commission on the four project initiated by then Minister, Hon.ALimamy Kamara, it was revealed that a lot of money was spent on the Youth in Drainage Project, with a lot of equipment procured.
“So, we wanted to see for ourselves what was exactly procured because we have gone to the Youth Farm, Youth in Village, and we have also gone to look at the vehicles that were used in the Ebola response centre. So, we have to see what exactly entails because we don’t want to sit in the Commission and be told things and then we cannot make conclusion without seeing those things. So, if it’s possible to see we see. Those things that are not possible to see, we will leave them and make record of the ones that are available,” justice Georgewill said.
The current Minister of Youth Affairs, Mohamed Orman Bangura, in his response, stated that he has not changed any setup in the ministry since he took over, adding that he cannot be changing things more especially when they are from the state resources.
“We are trying as best as we can to account to the young people. We owe our generation and there is no way subsequent generation will succeed if we don’t sacrifice for others to succeed. So, you are welcome and the team will take you around, led by the Permanent Secretary, so that you get to see things for yourself,” he noted.
Justice Biobele and team went to the said Youth in Drainage Project Store, but found nothing tangible to justify the monies spent on the project.
“The tricycles, I have not seen any one of them since I came to the ministry. I have asked my predecessor and he said didn’t see anything. This is the office and store of the Youth in Drainage Project and if there was any equipment pertaining to the project, it should have been here. We were expecting to find documents here that would lead to the whereabouts of those equipment. But as you can see, there is nothing here,” explained the Permanent Secretary, Andrew L.Sorie.
The project office seemed like an abandoned site, with broken chairs, decks, and tattered curtains hanging by the window. Seemingly, bats are now using it as their breeding nest.
“This is more like an abandoned office,” observed Justice Biobele.
The team further inspected the procured vehicles for the entire project and the current Permanent Secretary told them that they inherited only 4 vehicles from the project.
He informed the team that they have changed the name of the Youth Village to Livelihood Skill Centre.
“We have plan to diversify the project so that’s why the change of name,” he said.
“If you are renaming it let be in a way that will benefit the youth of this country because that’s the most important thing. This project has spent a lot of money and all could see is just 4 vehicles. I have gone to the village; I didn’t see anything apart from the land that is there. So, we will keep record of all we have seen and later make my conclusion. But please I will encourage that you try and make sure that whatever project you are implementing, should be well organised for the benefit of the people of Sierra Leone,” admonished Justice Georgewill.