BY KUNGU AL-MAHADI ADAM
More than 200 youths in Lwengo district have received Shs 217m from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD), under the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP).
YLP is a revolving government of Uganda programme, targeting the poor and unemployed youth in all the Districts in the country.
According to the National Youth Council Secretary General, Kitatta Ibrahim, who also doubles as the Youth Chairperson for Lwengo district, the 21 youth groups who received this money need to use it appropriately in order to benefit from it and get more.
“I implore you (the youths) to properly use the money received because it is your responsibility first of all to use it well and benefit from it, get jobs and sail out of poverty. But also, be in position of returning it since is is a revolving fund,” he said.
He said government has established a system where youths who properly utilize the provided funds are appreciated by giving them more money. He however cautioned the defaulters that ‘an iron hand’ will be used to recoup the money, including dragging them to court so they serve as an example to others not to misuse the money.
Kitatta added that all the youth groups which have not received money in this first round are likely to receive before the end of this financial year.
“We thank government for the opportunity, but also remind it that only few out of the many youths in the district have been given the money, so we need more money to eradicate poverty which emanates from lack of startup capital,” Kitatta said.
He also appealed to different political players in the district against involving themselves in partisan politics. He said the project intends to uplift the status of the young people, saying development should be fronted first.
On complaints that some unscrupulous individuals solicit money from youth groups in exchange for including them on YLP beneficiaries.
“This programme is free, nobody should pay any penny to receive the funds,” he said, adding that whoever has been a victim of such ought to register his/her complaint with the authorities.
“There is no way one will repay the money when you charged him for it”.
On his part, Juuko Kasiita, the Lwengo district RDC, implored the Ministry to continue providing further financial education and guidance to the youth groups which have received the money to ensure their proper usage.
Diana Naturinda, the spokesperson of the Youth Livelihood Programme who represented the Minister of State for Youth at the function, noted that government is facing challenges of repaying the given funds. He said youths must respect the terms of the agreement they sign before receiving the money.
“When you are receiving this money, you sign a repayment agreement and indicate a repayment schedule period within which the money must be repaid in respect to the agreement’s conditions,” she said.
“It is not true that we arrest whoever fails to pay back the money. There are people whose projects are affected by natural calamities say in an event of drought, you can inform the Community Development Officer about it and we consider whether to give you more money or extend your repayment schedule,” she added.
Source Soft Power News