By Amie Sanneh

Some members of the National Assembly have expressed their dissatisfaction over the budget allocated for youth in the 2018 draft budget estimates. The budget allocated for the Ministry of Youth and Sport is D53, 110,784.

Members described youth as important; that they form the chunk of the population and thus the need to invest in them by empowering them to acquire skills and be independent or get employment. They said the reason why youth are leaving the country for Europe through the ‘back way’, is because there is nothing in store for them at home.

Responding to these concerns, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs explained that youth have been taken care of adequately; that youth are also going to benefit from the programs under education and agriculture. These institutions he went on, should develop skills and training geared towards youth development. Finance Minister Sanneh further said that their focus is on private sector development to create employment and generate growth in the economy, noting that government cannot employ everybody. This, he added, is the reason why they want the private sector to grow and improve which is why they have reduced the company tax rate and they are also trying to bring down the income tax rate and provide the conducive environment for them. “All these are efforts to lay the ground for youth empowerment,” he said.

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