Kenya in ambitious jobs plan

February 16, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – A government sponsored project for infrastructure development targeting thousands of youths for employment should begin this week according to Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Under the ambitious plan over 300,000 youths are expected to get jobs with the State to roll out major development initiatives.

Without specifying the amount, Raila said the funds earmarked for rehabilitation of dams, roads and other infrastructural projects had been released and that the exercise should begin within 10 days.

The PM was speaking in Nyanza province during the 15th memorial ceremony of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga where he called on the youth there to desist from relying too much on handouts.

“It is time we pull out of the idea of seeking favours and financial assistance from relatives so that we transform the province (Nyanza) from being a net exporter of labour to a leading consumer of the job market,” he said.

He also called on all Kenyans to pursue avenues of investment in the private sector.

He urged the youth to apply for loans from financial institutions to advance their entrepreneurial skills.

He appealed to jobless Kenyans to venture into self employment initiatives rather than waiting for handouts adding that this would reduce poverty in the country.

The Prime Minister also reiterated efforts to effectively deal with corruption in the grand coalition government.

Mr Odinga stressed the need for Kenyans to give Parliament’s committee on Agriculture, Lands & Natural Resources time to investigate the maize scandal.

He pointed out that the Triton oil saga was theft within the company and the government should not be blamed.

The premier further emphasised the government’s commitment against covering up any corrupt deals and to prosecute those implicated.

Mr Odinga appealed to Kenyans not to judge the coalition government harshly but to give it time to deliver on its election pledges.

He insisted that the grand coalition government was in the process of developing a working formula to meet the expectations of the citizens.

He said the coalition arrangement posed serious challenges due to the diversity of the ideologies of the parties involved but expressed optimism that things may soon work out for the better since the political marriage under the National accord was out of a compromise.

“Neither ODM nor PNU entered the coalition out of choice but out of sacrifice to see the country remain united after the chaos that followed the 2007 general polls threatened to break the nation right in the middle,” he said.

The premier further censored a section of the clergy for using the pulpit to bash the government over alleged involvement in corrupt dealings and insisted that the grand coalition government was doing all it could to fight the vice.

He said that the government had formulated a Coalition Management Committee to probe and peruse past atrocities with a view to bring the culprits to book and resolve the pending mysteries of injustices conclusively.

“ I have championed for justice and good governance that is responsive to the need of the majority and I assure you that if I will keep you posted when I stumble on such scams but I have not come across one to date,” the premier declared.


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