The minister of Youth and Sports, Henry Gomez, has accused the former regime of not giving enough attention to the young people.
Speaking at NYSS graduation of 33 young people on rice production, the youth minister said challenges of young people were not addressed during the tenure of the former president.
“This is why the work of the NYSS cannot be more relevant today given the challenges. Years back people in this country were traumatized and shocked by the sense of loss in what is manifestly youth desperation,” he said.
He said this desperation led the youths to embark on the sea journey, “while this is predominantly a male youth affaire, we equally recognize the phenomenon of increasing anti-social behaviours.”
“These and many other emerging issues and challenges for young people in Africa and Gambia continue to motivate us to come together to change a government,” he said.
He said his ministry is working on a strategic blue print that will provide the necessary tools for youth to meet their life aspiration and become more useful to self and national development.
“I want to assure you that, my ministry will give all necessary support to the NYSS to make more relevant, sustainable and serve as the advance party for our national drive at youth development,” he added.
The youth minister further expressed his dissatisfaction of the fact that, the NYSS was only able to train 2500 young people since inception in 1996.
“This is unacceptable and with that we will reinforce and redouble our efforts and make sure we give all necessary support to NYSS in order to empower and develop our youth folk,” said the youth minister.
He said the government is ready to re-orient and motivate the youth to harness their diverse creativities through the national youth service scheme.
“Let me take this opportunity to emphasize that the NYSS will from henceforth recruit every year,” he promised.
Minister Gomez reminded the graduates that, “the skills they have acquired and level of competence reached must be seen only as head above water, in a turbulent sea, for which to land ashore means continuous hard work.
“The crusade to push the frontiers of national excellence, belief and self-reliance for the Gambia in general and youth in particular, have been tremendous and invigorating since the advent of the new government,” he concluded.