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Agago Youth Fail to Repay UGX 700 Million Youth Funds

Charles Kumakec, the Chairperson of Oyarontonge Superstars Computer Application Youth Group in Agago Town Council, attributed the poor repayment of the YLP funds to limited training of the beneficiaries on enterprise selection and financial management skills.

Audio 3

More than 100 youth groups in Agago District have failed to repay more than 700 Million Shillings under the Youth Livelihood Project-YLP.

The YLP was introduced by the government in 2013 to uplift the economic status of poor and unemployed youth by giving them start-up capital for a venture of their choice.

In Agago district at least 137,000 youth organized in 141different groups were given 1.06 Billion Shillings in the financial year 2014/2015.

Benson Lugwar, the District Youth Councilor for Agago District, says that their records show that only 30 percent has been recovered.

//Cue in: “Youth Livelihood ma government…”

Cue out: …me recovering.”//

According to Lugwar, they have been facing the challenge of recovering the money because of a lack of funds to monitor the projects.

//Cue in: “Gamente omyero oneni…”

Cue out: …me gamo cente.”//

Charles Kumakec, the Chairperson of Oyarontonge Superstars Computer Application Youth Group in Agago Town Council, attributed the poor repayment of the YLP funds to limited training of the beneficiaries on enterprise selection and financial management skills. 

Kumakec says the lack of skills in chosen enterprises forced group members to leave because they could not manage their businesses to bring in profits. He says their group which had 15 members now has only six members.

The treasurer of the group, Baptist Ojok, says the group received 11.1 Million Shillings and has refunded 3.5 Million Shillings.

Ojok appeals to the government to write off the balance as bad debt because the remaining members are unable to clear the loan.

Agago District Youth Chairperson Wilson Otto, says some beneficiaries are already dead, while others have relocated to other places in search of better opportunities and cannot be traced.

 Otto says only 273 Million Shillings have been recovered from 41 groups, leaving a shortfall of Shillings 787 million.

“The poor performance of the YLP was associated with misinterpretation of the program by the youth and the timing of its implementation. Because it came during a political time so many of the youths associated this YLP program to a political incentive,” Otto says.

 However, Lugwar says the YLP funds are revolving, and the beneficiaries, most of who he says are no longer among the youth should refund the money so that other youth also benefit.

//Cue in: “Won kom lawor amaja…”

Cue out: …wek gutii kwede.”//