Sheriff Gomez, the secretary of state for Youth and Sports, accompanied by his permanent secretary, yesterday, visited the National Youth Service Scheme headquarters in Bakau.
The visit was meant to further familiarise the SoS with the ongoing programmes and activities of the scheme, as well as map out possible strategies to strengthen the capacity of the institution in addressing problems affecting young people, especially in the area of employment.
Receiving SoS Gomez, Musa Mbye, the executive director of NYSS, described the visit as timely and informed the SoS about his institution’s annual report to the joint commission of the National Assembly. Mr Mbye informed the SoS about the concerns raised by the commission over the Youth Development Enterprise Fund, as well as the lack of farming implements for the NYSS Farm in Nyaniberreh in Kombo Central, and Sapu in Central River Region.
“On loans disbursed earlier this year, we are happy to inform you that most of the ex-corps have started doing business to the extent of starting to pay off their loans prior to the date we set for them,” he said, adding that the loan disbursement serves as an eye-opener to many Gambian youths, as they have received a lot of applications for recruitment.
Mbye also told the SoS of the meeting of the NYSS Board in early August, where members discussed, among other things, the need to fill the vacant positions at the NYSS.
Mambanyick Njie, the permanent secretary at the Department of State for Youth and Sports, implored the NYSS officials to redouble their efforts to attain the goals of the scheme.
Reacting to the comments, SoS Gomez challenged the NYSS to champion the cause of addressing problems facing youth. He noted that the problems of young people are serious, and as such, dealing with them requires concerted efforts to ensure a prosperous future.
“It is important for us to look at the current environment and device ways and means of addressing the challenges facing the youth. We must increase our efforts to alleviate the plight of the youths. There are many young people across the country who want their dreams and aspirations to be fulfilled but anytime this is threatened, they get desperate, which eventually leads them to venture into unfavourable activities,” SoS Gomez observed.
SoS Gomez finally spoke of his department’s resolve to collaborate with the scheme in addressing the challenges.