A group of youths who recently paid a visit to President Yoweri Museveni and complained how they were struggling financially has formed a Savings and Corporative (SACCO) after receiving the Shs200M from State House as startup capital for their project.
The development was revealed by Victor Odwori, Chairman Busia District Local Government who said that the youth leaders who are going to spearhead the SACCO have already registered some members. According to Odwori, this is the first district youth SACCO to exist in Busia and the SACCO is meant to manage the proceeds from the hurler and Fuso truck projects that the President had pledged to the group.
He said that the Shs 200m will be used by youths to get loans at low rates and start viable businesses to improve on their household income and their own livelihood and asserted that the district is ready to make sure that the funds aren’t wasted as has been in the past.
Odwori’s remarks are in reference to a scenario in 2006 when, President Museveni handed over a brand-new omnibus youths in Busia with the aim of enabling the youths to generate money and invest in more ventures, however, the youth leaders used the money to marry off wives, buy clothes and spend the rest on food and drinks.
However, the wastage of youth funds isn’t unique to Busia alone with the just released 2018 Audit report having warned that Government is lost Shs28.4Bn handed to youths through the Youth Livelihood Project by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. According to the audit report, the Ministry budgeted for Shs231.2bn in FY 2013/2014 to FY 2017/2018 but only Shs161.1bn (69.7%) was released to the program resulting in a shortfall of Shs70.1bn (30.3%).
Due to the shortfall in funding, only 15979 (67%) of the proposed 23,850 projects were funded which ended up affecting the number of youths who had been targeted by the program by benefiting only 195, 644 out of 286, 200 youths, (68%) by 30th June 2018.
The report also showed that out of the Shs38.8bn that was disbursed to 5,505 YIGs in 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, on average, only 26.7% was recovered from the youth countrywide. “There is high profitability that the balance of almost Shs28.4bn may never be recovered as almost 64% of the sampled projects, consisting of 71% value of loans were non-existent. Another 25% had reportedly embezzled or diverted the funds,” the report read in part.