Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia today carried out an inspection tour at the National Youth Service (NYS) Gilgil Training College where she assessed the level of compliance with COVID-19 containment measures during paramilitary training, inspected the ceremonial barrack guard and addressed the 7,700 new recruits who joined the service this year.
Prof. Kobia commended the NYS management team for the successful implementation of the robust training programme despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. She challenged the recruits to take advantage of the opportunity that has been provided by the government and exploit their full potential.
“The National Youth Service exists for the purpose of empowering young people like yourselves with knowledge, skills, experience and values that will enable you to exploit your potential, earn a decent livelihood and exercise your agency for the betterment of Kenya,” she said.
The paramilitary training is done to prepare the recruits for the highly competitive job market and equip them with the technical know-how to thrive in the job market. NYS plays a central role in accelerating the implementation of national development projects in collaboration with other public entities which provide NYS graduates with opportunities to proceed to National Service duty after the training.
NYS has recruited 5,506 maleS and 2,198 females in 2020. Among them, 45 recruits are Persons with Disabilities. This year, NYS reduced the number of recruits significantly due to COVID-19 pandemic safety standards requirements.
The Cabinet Secretary said that all the pending bills amounting to Ksh. 15 Billion which were owed between the year 2013 and 2017 which have now been verified and approved were ready to be paid. “I cannot say when the money will be paid but all Kenyans who supplied goods and services will be paid after we have made a request for funds from Treasury,” she said.
Prof Kobia said she was cognizant of the fact that some suppliers had taken loans to supply goods but noted that it was necessary for a rigorous process to be undertaken to verify all bills following NYS 1 and NYS 2 corruption scandals.
On her part, Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon Rachel Shebesh emphasized on the need to give both men, women and girls equal opportunities in economic and social development. She said during COVID-19 pandemic, cases of Sexual Gender-Based Violence continued to rise and called on the society to take individual responsibility to end defilement cases. “Defilement cannot be a normal thing and dealing with GBV is no longer going to be business as usual,” she said.
Principal Secretary for Public Service, Mrs. Mary Kimonye emphasized on the need for the NYS training to strive for H. E President Uhuru Kenyatta’s expectations on governance. Mrs. Kimonye assured the recruits of their safety at the institution during their paramilitary training during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has not been one COVID-19 case reported in this institution since reopening and this has been attributed to the high level of discipline and safety measures put in place at the institute,” she said.
Among those present at the event were NYS Council Chairperson Lt. Gen (Rtd) Njuki Mwaniki, NYS Director General, Ms. Matilda Sakwa and Commandant, NYS Gilgil Campus Ms. Ruth Mbuvi and other Ministry and NYS officials.
By Catherine Kamau