The Auditor General John Muwanga has released a new report revealing that Government may never recover 28.4 Billion Shillings disbursed to youths under Youth Livelihood Project.
The AG found that almost 64 percent of the sampled youth projects, consisting of 71 percent value of loans, were non-existent and another 25 percent had reportedly embezzled the funds.
The Youth Livelihood Program implemented by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development budgeted for a total of 231.2 billion Shillings for the financial year 2013/2014 to financial year 2017/2018. However only 161.1 billion Shillings was released for the program resulting in a shortfall of 70.1 billion Shillings.
Despite the under funding of the program by government, auditors have also faulted the Ministry for the manner in which funds have been managed. They pointed out that out of the 38.8 billion Shillings that was disbursed to 5,505 youth groups in the financial year 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, on average, only 26.7 percent was recovered from the youth countrywide.
“There is high probability that the balance of almost 28.4 billion Shillings may never be recovered as almost 64 percent of the sampled projects, consisting of 71 percent value of loans were non-existent. Another 25 percent had reportedly embezzled or diverted the funds,” reads part of the summary audit report.
However, Auditor General notes that the program registered some improvements between financial years 2015/2016 to 2017/2018. According to the report out of a total amount of 83.3 billion Shillings disbursed to 10,444 Youth Groups, there was a noted improvement of recoveries ranging from 24 percent in financial year 2015/2016 to 60 percent in 2017/2018 which is still below satisfactory performance.
Meanwhile, out of 18.1 billion shillings recovered from the groups at the time of audit, 16.1 billion Shillings had been transferred to the Revolving Fund in Bank of Uganda.
Besides, only 8 billion Shillings had been revolved to the groups and the Auditor General says that delay in revolving funds to other eligible groups undermines the ultimate goal of the program.