The Joint Session of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committee (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly Tuesday unanimously adopted the annual activity report and audited financial statement of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) for the year ended 31st December 2011.
Presenting the report before the Committee, Nuha Y. Jammeh, executive director of NYSS, explained that the institution has six departments to ensure the smooth operation of the Scheme. He said the Scheme is still on course with its mandate to provide requisite skills for self-employment or creating employment opportunities for young people.
He further explained that the Inspectorate and Skills Training Department is mandated with the responsibility to spearhead the training of corps members and map out strategies for the effective participation of corps members and trainers in order to meet the aims and objectives of the NYSS.
Jammeh said it is important for the NYSS to strengthen its partnership collaboration with youth organisations in The Gambia by attending their programmes where they can meet young people from various walks of lives and publicise the NYSS programme and activities and its benefits to young people of The Gambia.
According to him, the skills training component is one of the cardinal programme of the NYSS and could be regarded as the main trust of the scheme. "This is because corps members are deployed to viable establishments countrywide to undertake skills training for a period of 22 months with the ultimate goal of self-reliance," he added.
Jammeh also revealed that over 40 loans have been disbursed through the support of Social Development Fund and Gamjobs.While stating that the need to continue the support cannot be overemphasised, he stressed that regular corps members' inspection is a key function of the NYSS and any compromise to this routine inspection would no doubt affect not only the effectiveness of the NYSS training but also the sustainability of the Youth Enterprise Revolving Fund.
He reiterated the need to develop the capacities of the staff saying it is of paramount importance, as NYSS staff needs to be trained at higher level and in professional courses. He then appealed to government to provide the Scheme with scholarships to train its staff in order to improve competence and maximise output.
Lamin K. Barrow, a compliance officer at Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA), said NYSS was found to be non-compliant with the Public Procurement Act.
The Committee then raised comments, concerns and observations without reservations before finalising the adoption of the 2011 report.