By: Kebba AF Touray
Member for Tumana, Foday NM Drammeh, has said that the crime rate in the country is on the rise and this is attributed to high rate of unemployment, especially among the youthful population.
He indicated that the youth constitute a large portion of the population, out of which 41.5 percent are unemployed. He considers this to be an alarming issue.
“I was expecting the government to tell us the programs and policies put in place to address youth unemployment in the country”.
This, he continued, coupled with rural-urban drift was not adequately explained in the address, without which the country will not develop; saying “the more we are not engaged in meaningful ventures, the more we are involved in creating crimes”.
He said: “We all admit that agriculture is the back bone of the country’s economy and contributes 33.3 percent to the GDP, with a decline to 25 and 22 percent respectively to the GDP. I would have loved to know the causes of these declines, because this has shown that agriculture is declining”.
He said that extension service is pivotal in agricultural development and lack of adequate extension workers can potentially impact on production. This, he cited, has not been clearly detailed in the president’s address.
He also raised concerns over the trade season of last year and said that he expected the president to share the challenges, successes and the way forward for this year’s season, but his expectations were not met.
On interior, he said “We were told last year that a new legal framework will be developed for the management and detention of juveniles. The way juvenile offenders are managed and how they should be managed as per the constitution are quite different”.
He added that he was expecting the President to say something about this, because a child can be an offender, “so the way and manner they should be kept should have been addressed in the speech”.