Gambia's Youth Minister accused of power abuse

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: After abruptly dissolving the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) and sending its executive director on leave yesterday, new evidences are showing up which accused and linked Gambia’s Youth and Sports Minister to some strong of abuse of his power and financial mismanagement.

Monday afternoon, Minister Henry Gomez said he has dissolved the country’s youth scheme and had sent its executive director on leave without giving any tangible reason which angered many people, including youth right activists who  criticised his decision and linked it to grievance after the Scheme’s board rejected a one million dalasi request from the ministry as contribution towards overseas travel.

The request letter, dated 9 April 2018 and signed by Mengeh Jaiteh stated that she was directed to request NYSS to fund six days per-diem of Minister Gomez to travel to Baku, Azerbaijan and eight days to travel to Poland.

The letter, provided to Eye Africa also requested for nine days per-diem due for the Ministry’s permanent secretary and fourteen days per-diem payable to the senior assistant secretary.

Sources say the ministry exhausted its travel funding allocation sometime in March and requested more fund from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which was rejected and warned them not to touch travel subventions of satellite institutions.

Our sources also uncovered that the ministry later called an underground meeting where it pleaded for satellite institutions to contribute one million dalasi for travelling but majority of the participants at the meeting rejected the request. “So they tried the President’s International Awards and the National Youth Council (NYC) but both boards denied the request,” our source added.

National Youth Service Scheme

The National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) was established in 1996 with the aim to provide the youth who form the majority of the population with the requisite skills to address the acute problem of unemployment. It was supported by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) of Nigeria during its first eight years of establishment.

The NYSS specifically seeks to train the youth to appreciate the dignity of labour, instil in them the spirit of self-reliance and encourage them to create rather than seek jobs. This is in recognition that the youth are the future leaders and as such must be equipped with the necessary skills to enable themcontribute effectively to national development while ensuring sustainable development.

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