Home BUSINESS Bigirimana Grilled Over Recovery of Shs 50 Billion Youth Fund Money

Bigirimana Grilled Over Recovery of Shs 50 Billion Youth Fund Money

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Pius Bigirimana. Courtesy Photo
Pius Bigirimana. Courtesy Photo

Parliament’s public accounts committee has quizzed Pius Bigirimana, the permanent secretary in the ministry of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, over youth fund recovery.

The MPs on the committee interfaced with ministry officials over the slow progress in the recovery of the money given to youth investment groups under the Youth Livelihood Programme.

They also grilled Bigirimana on the ‘non-traceable group projects’.

The concerns had been raised in the 2016 report by auditor general John Muwanga.

Muwanga was concerned that of the only Shs 5.5bn as of 28th October, 2016 had been recovered.

This translates into 39 per cent of the Shs 14.2bn that should have been recovered by the time of the auditor general’s report.

Other concerns raised included ghost groups which the report claimed had swallowed up Shs 527m meant for groups in at least 30 districts.

Muwanga had also questioned why  Bigirimana had promptly received Shs 43m as compensation for the injuries sustained while at work in 2013 yet civil servants such as police officers had spent decades without being compensated.

Bigirimana Responds to Youth Fund Money Recovery Concerns

“The first recovery is expected in three years,” said Bigirima, adding that that period elapsed in 2017, yet the report was drafted in 2016.

He also blamed the low recovery rate on drought.

“This low rate of recovery was occasioned by the fact that those who had invested had not harvested what they had invested in. Some of them had invested in agriculture,” explained Bigirimana.

“There was some drought and some of them did not pay back as expected.”

But he revealed that the ministry and security agencies were making attempts to recover the money.

“We have had arrests. We have had people who have been forced to pay back,” he said.

“We have people who have been dismissed [from the fund program].”

Asked if the youth livelihood fund was insured, Bigirimana said he had no idea.

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