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National Youth Service (NYS) among biggest casualties in budget cuts

By Paul Wafula | Published Thu, June 23rd 2016 at 00:00, Updated June 23rd 2016 at 08:07 GMT +3

Treasury has slashed Sh902 million from the National Youth Service's budget. 

The cash was meant to be used to pay temporary employees. Treasury instead moved the money to planning headquarters for routine maintenance, refurbishment of buildings and purchase of specialised plant, equipment and machinery.

The National Youth Service (NYS) had initially been given a total of Sh4.9 billion for basic wages for temporary employees. This has now been reduced by Sh824 million to Sh4 billion.

It was also allocated Sh3.7 billion for rehabilitation of civil works. This was also slashed by Sh78 million, bringing the total deductions to Sh902 million.

But after the agency was rocked by allegations of theft in which more than Sh1.8 billion was lost, the agency has been having trouble absorbing development expenditure.

The Auditor General recently tabled a damning report that confirmed how millions of shillings were siphoned through at least eight different schemes.

Before the scandal hit NYS, it had recruited youths from as far back as September 2014 to be part of the rebranded service.

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The recruits, who were grouped into cohorts – local youths engaged by the NYS in their locality–were being paid a daily wage of Sh471.

A third of this amount was retained as mandatory savings and deposited into the NYS Huduma Fund.

It was a grand plan targeting millions of jobless youths that the Government hoped would help provide some stop gap employment opportunities.

The 30 per cent retained was to be invested into savings and credit co-operative societies, which were to be created by youth's in respective counties. As at September 2015, there were 83,076 cohorts who had been registered and paid a total of Sh3 billion.

According to the supplementary development budget, Treasury has also proposed to slash the budget of the Ministry of Devolution by Sh219 million that had been allocated to the natural resource management programme. This money was to be used for the emergency relief and refugee programme.

Treasury also moved Sh125 million allocated to the directorate of basic education to the state department of education headquarters.

The university of Nairobi got an additional Sh40 million for development.


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