National youth security budget to decline

Windhoek-The security contracts budget for the National Youth Service Security (NYSS) agency is expected to decline to an estimated N$11.5 million in financial year 2018/19, and to N$9.2 million in 2019/20.

This was revealed by the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service Jerry Ekandjo last week when he responded to DTA parliamentarian Elma Dienda.

Dienda wanted the minister to provide evidence to justify the increased expenditure on security contracts by the ministry.

In the estimates of revenue, income and expenditure for the 2017/18 financial year, Dienda revealed that the ministry's budget for security contracts had gone up to N$16 million from N$4.47 million the previous financial year.

Even taking inflation into account, in the absence of multiple new buildings, how does the ministry justify this increased expenditure on security contracts? she asked.

Ekandjo explained that as a statutory agency of the ministry, NYSS is expected to adhere to the government prescribed minimum wage for security guards.

According to him the latter, coupled with the increased number of security personnel manning each youth centre or office and sports facilities, resulted in an increase in the budget allocated to security contracts.

He said the NYSS has been lobbying offices, ministries or agencies to make use of its security services to guard all government properties countrywide, and by so doing provide employment and alleviate poverty amongst the youth.

The minister maintained that the National Youth Service approached the ministry at the beginning of 2015 with a proposal to provide security services to its centres or offices countywide, by employing the unemployed and school dropouts to reduce youth unemployment and alleviate hunger and poverty.

Ekandjo explained that as of July 1, 2015, the NYSS started providing security services to the ministry's centres or offices and sports facilities, and by so doing, created 323 permanent jobs for the youth countrywide.

The NYSS was established in 2015 with the aim to provide employment to unemployed and marginalised youth and school dropouts.

According to him, these unemployed youth and school dropouts undergo three phases of the NYSS training programme.

The recruits, he said, are drawn from all 121 constituencies of Namibia through the constituency councillors and are gender balanced.

The phases involved include voluntary community service that aim to inculcate youth volunteerism and civic responsibilities amongst the recruits, who are deployed to regions and constituencies for a period of one year.

They take part in tasks of national importance and development on a voluntary basis.

The other one is vocational education and training, which provide recruits with opportunities for further studies and enhance their opportunities for employment.

The third phase deals with civic training whereby recruits undergo three months of training to be disciplined, and to encourage patriotism and inculcate a sense of nationhood and commitment to Namibia's development.

Ekandjo said it should also be noted that there are also other ministries that utilize the NYSS, such as the land reform ministry to guard government resettlement farms.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia