By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Commissioner of the National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) Friday stated that despite the successes they have been able to record as a commission over the years, there is need to strengthen their capacity in the areas of operation and training in order to carry out their mandate effectively and efficiently.
Anthony Koroma informed newsmen at the commission’s conference room that they were able to accomplish about 85% of what they challenged themselves to do in their 2013 performance contract. He noted that resource mobilization still remains one of the challenges they are facing as according to him, huge resources are needed to meet with the high expectations of the youth in the country.
“There is need to strengthen the capacity of the commission. A Youth Development Trust Fund is necessary with innovative ways of locally generating contributions into the fund,” he said, adding that there are lots of expectations from the youth and the public who always see the commission as means to a quick fix of youth challenges, that is, unemployment, indiscipline, education and training.
Commissioner Koroma disclosed that District Youth Councils have been established in all the thirteen (13) districts with plans underway to get District Youth Advisory Committees as well.
He also revealed that discussions have already been held with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and other key stakeholders with regard the development of a national internship policy to help in providing support for thousands of young graduates. Plans are also at an advanced stage to set up the steering committee, he added.
“A total of Le800 million has been allocated in the 2014 budget for the women and youth trust fund. 500 youth have been trained at the Obasanjo Skills Acquisition and Training College in ICT, business skills and community development studies,” he stated.
“With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), we were able to develop a National Youth Employment Action Plan in line with the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’.”