Minister Sad Over Abandoned Youth Projects | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Minister Sad Over Abandoned Youth Projects

Posted: Feb 12, 2016 at 7:22 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Nedum Noble


Youth and Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung is sad over several abandoned youth development projects across the country.
The minister in continuation of the inspection of the youth Centre projects in which the Federal Government had committed huge amounts of money was recently at the Jos Youth Centre where he came face to face with long completed gigantic edifices now overgrown with weeds and  heavy pile ups of equipment gathering dust and visible utilities virtually going to waste.
The only semblance of activity at the Centre, which occupies a large expanse of land, is only provided by a unit of soldiers from the Operation Save Heaven that is keeping the peace in the area; otherwise the Centre would have passed for a deserted refugee camp.
Barr. Dalung has therefore directed that all relevant files on the issue be placed on his table immediately after inquiry from the North Central Zonal Coordinator of the Ministry who conducted him round the facilities .Mrs Esther Pitmang failed to show how much has been spent so far on the project, the actual percentage of work done and whether the project has been duly handed over to the Ministry.
The Minister was conducted round various structures meant to serve as lecture rooms, male and female hostels, workshops, conference rooms, clinic, poultry cages and fishing ponds, bore-hole and engine-room housing a never tested big-size generator as well as transformer.
Dalung also saw rooms stocked with rusting-away iron-beds, blankets, workshop-tools and plumbing materials enveloped with thick foam of dust.
The minister gathered that most of these facilities worth millions of naira had been in place for years, while there was no record that a single youth on whose account the project was designed has been trained.
To make matters worse, many of the structures have had their roofs blown away with two segments of the fence already fallen down.
The Hon Minister could not contain his bewilderment and disgust at what he saw; describing this development as “mind-boggling, heart-rending eye-sore and an unacceptable way of implementing an otherwise laudable policy.”
Dalung promised to get to the bottom of the matter by inviting the project contractor and ensure that the company delivers on the project within a specific time, failure in which the contract will be terminated and re-awarded in order to get value for money.
The Minister also said he is “convinced that the Jos crises would not have assumed its frightful dimension if the Centre has been made functional and the unemployed youths from the area being conscripted as foot-soldiers by the warring groups trained as envisaged”.
He promised to do the needful to ensure that the project is revamped, completed and deployed to serve the purpose for which it was meant.
It would be recalled that the Honourable Minister while receiving Executive Members of the Nigerian Peace Corps who came to pay him a courtesy call last month vowed “not to be a sitting minister” in his drive in  ensuring that all facilities put in place to train Nigerian youth are completed and made to serve their intended purpose.