By Nelson Manneh
Hon. NdegenJobe, the Deputy Speaker of the National Youth Parliament (NYP) has urged members of the National Assembly to prioritise youth employment and related issues in the country’s 2024 national budget.
The NYP Deputy Speaker made this and other statements on Saturday, 18 November 2023, during a peaceful protest match organised by members of the NYP within the Kanifing Municipality.
The march, which was also organised to pay homage to all the young lives lost at sea, called on the Government and all the stakeholders concerned, to take measures to curb the deadly irregular migration of young people by providing them with meaningful job opportunities, as a national priority. The march commenced at the Serrekunda Bamba junction and ended in Westfield where participants held flip chats that called on the Government of the Gambia and all other stakeholders, to mitigate the irregular migratory journey commonly known as the ‘backway’, of desperate Gambian youth.
“Government should put young people first, and as they table the 2024 national budget, lawmakers should prioritise the youth. The future is dying because our youth are dying. Let the youth be the priority. They lost hope here that is why they are perishing at sea in seeking greener pastures,” the NYP Deputy spealer said, as they marched through the streets of KMC.
NYP Deputy Speaker Jobe reiterated her parliament’s commitment to ensure that young people are empowered and provided with meaningful job opportunities, adding that as the youth are the cream of the nation; their agenda should be given the highest priority.
Hon. Abdou Bah, NYP member for Serrekunda Constituency who is currently serving as head of the Youth Parliament’s Standing Committee on Youth Employment, Enterprise and Migration, said it is time for Government to take action and save the young people from perishing at sea, because of frustration and lack of meaning employment in their own country.
“Our youth should be provided with quality jobs with good wages. Otherwise it will not be easy to put an end to this deadly journey,” Hon. Bah said.
He added that it is the responsibility of the Government and stakeholders to make sure they save the lives of young people.
“People are dying at sea every day but this is not preventing others from going because many are still going. What does this mean?” he questioned.
He said the only way out is for the Government and all stakeholders who matter in this, to do what they are supposed to do by providing jobs to the youth and give them hope and see if they will not stay.
The NYP is a committed advocacy group on youth empowerment and the priority of the parliament is for the Government to decentralize employment opportunities for young people, as well increase the salaries of civil servants, in order to discourage irregular migration and the ‘brain drain’.