Uhuru commends NYS council for transparency, accountability

President Uhuru Kenyatta is welcomed by the National Youth Service Director General Matilda Sakwa at the Gilgil training school for a pass-out parade on April 24, 2021.[PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended the National Youth Service Council for its efficiency.

Uhuru said since the establishment of the council after the institution was hit by two major corruption scandals, there has been greater accountability, transparency and effectiveness.

“In this period, NYS decisively moved past the former position that was bedeviled by negative publicity and complaints. I urge you to continue with this good work,” the head of state said.

As a result of the council, the institution is said to be on the right trajectory towards taming corruption.

Earlier on Director General Matilda Sakwa said the council oversees all of its activities and programs.

The Council, she said, has developed good strategic plans that currently guide the institution through its programs.

"Through these reforms, the council has four committees including the audit and risk management committee which has played a key role in auditing our accounts,” she said.

Sakwa said they have decentralised all monies to the 22 units and thus auditing of accounts has been made easy.

"We run our activities in line with what the council approves. We have developed framework contracts and obtained the necessary data for our suppliers,” she said.

Uhuru while speaking at the pass-out parade in Gilgil on April 24, 2021, said no Programme can succeed without a clear, and workable sustainability plan.

The graduands display their skills in a guard of honour.[PSCU]

The event saw 7,479 Servicemen and women graduate after a rigorous six-month paramilitary training.

In the last one year, NYS has enrolled 13,605 servicemen and women, in various technical and vocational courses to join 25,524 who are continuing with their training within and outside the NYS schools.

Of these, 8,757 are due to graduate with trade skills in various fields; a measure that will bridge the existing gaps in those fields and provide the human resource impetus required for driving our economy to greater heights.

“In this respect, My Administration has taken decisive steps to secure the sustainability of the NYS Programme. We have done this by identifying and initiating eight commercial areas to enhance the Service’s capacity to generate revenue, and to create jobs and training opportunities for our youth,” Uhuru said.

These commercial areas include garment production and laundry services at the NYS Textile and Garment Technology Institute (TGTI), certified Potato Seed Production at NYS Tumaini Field Unit,  Mineral water bottling at NYS Turbo Field Unit, Agricultural production and Value addition in various NYS Farm Units, Bakery production here at NYS College Gilgil, Hospitality and Conference facilities in NYS Naivasha, Mombasa and Kisumu Field Units and Hire of vehicles, machinery and equipment and construction works at NYS Mechanical and Transport Branch (MTB).

The president said in the last year, NYS registered 22,541 Servicemen and women under NHIF.

President Uhuru Kenyatta when he inspected the guard of honour mounted by the NYS 2020 cohort.[PSCU]

A further, 393 servicemen and women, have been enrolled to undertake medical courses at the Kenya Medical Training College.

“On manufacturing, NYS has managed to stitch 1,060, 580 pieces of uniforms for various agencies as well as 2,319,615 facemasks to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Service, in consequence, engaged 250 youths, thus enhancing their wellbeing,” Uhuru said.

The president said currently NYS is undertaking mineral water bottling in the Turbo Field Unit, which is sold to other NYS units and the general public, to generate revenue for the Service, and thus easing the cost on the taxpayer.

“Towards food and nutrition security, the Service has been able to produce 1,475 tons of food from its farm units across the country in the last one year. More significantly, the certified potato-seed production centre in Tumaini Field Unit continues to produce certified potato seeds, thus ensuring farmers in the potato-growing region have sufficient quality potato seed,” he said.

Uhuru said as a strategy to contribute towards achieving affordable housing, the service enrolled 5,000 service men and women to undertake courses in building trade such as masonry, electric installation, plumbing and fitting in the last two years.

This he said is geared towards creating a pool of skilled youth to play an active role in the housing sector.

Uhuru said over the last one year engaged these young patriotic Kenyans in several transformative infrastructure projects.

Among these are the rehabilitation of the Nanyuki – Thika, Nakuru – Kisumu and Gilgil – Nyahururu railway lines; and rehabilitation of Kisumu and other ports around Lake Victoria.

“The NYS servicemen and women have also played a significant role in desert locust control in various counties, supervision of the National Hygiene (Kazi Mtaani) Programme, and enforcement of containment measures against COVID-19, among other notable duties,” he said.