Even as concerns over alleged corruption at the National Youth Service (NYS) continue to dog the devolution and planning ministry, documents with Kenya Monitor reveal that the institution plans ambitious restructuring that will see it not only become a money making public institution but also provide credit (loans) to members. The plan is premised on four pillars;
1. Paramilitary training and service regimentation
2. National service and youth re-socialization
3. Social transformation and vocational training
4. Enterprise and youth economy
Each of these pillars are differently structured in what the vision is to
“Catalyze Transformative Youth Empowerment in Kenya.”
The document is believed to have been prepared by a team led by Mutahi Ngunyi’s consulting company Consulting House for NYS and the devolution ministry. In recent days, Ngunyi has defended the consultancy payments stating that he was paid much more than sh38M reported, going further to state that he was considering suing The Star newspaper for reporting a lower figure than he was actually paid.
It is evident that the document in our possession is already being implemented as the listed changes are already being acted upon. For instance, during vetting before the joint parliamentary committee of labor and finance, the devolution Cabinet Secretary Ann Waiguru stated that youths in areas like Kibera have already saved some huge sums of money through the Sacco which they can use to borrow loans.
Under the first pillar, Paramilitary and Service Regimentation, NYS will recruit and train 21,870 youth every year. To recruit 10,935 twice a year where start date for each cohort to be in July and January. The graduation is planned for November and May of each year ensuring that every 6 months a Huduma Corps of 10,935 will be graduated. The recruitment for this is planned to be inclusive to ensure it abides by the dictates of the Constitution and also promotes efficiency of operations.
The second pillar, The National Service and Youth Re-Socialization, is referred to as the ‘high-impact’ stage – at least in the short to mid-term periods. This has been put into nine categories;
Vector Control Unit – This will be constituted as a stand-by unit at the level of a service division numbering 3,645 servicemen and women. This is the second highest level in military formation. Three divisions constitute an army.
Traffic Control Unit – This will be pitched at the level of a service brigade. It has been divided traffic zones in Nairobi into 12 sectors.
- Mombasa Road/Westlands
- Kilimani/ Kileleshwa/Lavington
- City Centre
- Jogoo/Railway Roundabout
- City Stadium – Enterprise
- Haile Selassie/Ngong
- Pangani, Juja Road
- Parkland Highridge Area
- Others Including Feeder Roads
Each zone will be manned by a Squad-Minus supported by designated officers from the Police Service. This is the third highest level in military formation. Three brigades constitute a division. In regimentation lingua, a group that is less than the assigned number of service men in a squad (15) is a squad-minus.
Dam Construction Unit – Government intends on constructing 1,100 dams a year. The NYS Dam Unit will constitute a Service Brigade-Plus of 2,250 who will be primed to undertake these dam construction works.
Road Construction Unit – Split into three categories, it is expected to help build roads of different classes across the country.
Slum Civil Works and Public Environment – They will work alongside the servicemen/women in the cleaning, minor constructions, beautification and other environmental activities in the slums.
Huduma Kitchens – These servicemen/women will be stationed in different urban spaces and will use the existing infrastructure of government partners such as religious institutions and other philanthropic bodies to provide a meal a day for the poor and homeless.
Public Duty and Security – The goal in the Public Security component of national service is to make NYS the premier choice for professional, disciplined and military trained drivers for government and private sector VIPs and guards.
NYS Service Constabulary – This will comprise of young people, interested in regimentation and engaging in petty public duties at county level. The ultimate aim of this unit will be to connect the constabulary members (ex-NYS trainees) with the Collection Guilds of unemployed youths to form business partnerships that would serve county governments in two areas on a piloting basis:
- Revenue and fees Collection (currently colonised by militia groups)
- Community Security and Policing at county level
The documents say
Demand for NYS services in these areas is on the increase from county governments. We will structure this and have it piloted in a number of counties.
Agribusiness – This regiment will be tasked with leading agribusiness endeavors in counties and even national projects like the Galana Ranch Project and sell the produce to make money for government and they will be paid.
Pillar three is called the Social Transformation and Vocational Training. It is split into Social transformation training which is about inculcation of civic competence and technical training. The technical training is divided into seven schools
- School of Engineering. This will absorb NYS Engineering Institute Nairobi, Nairobi Engineering Craft School (NECTS), MTB/OJT, Turbo Rural Craft Training Centre, VTI, Technical College Mombasa.
- School of Construction. This will absorb Yatta Plant Operators and Mechanics School, Tana Plant Mechanics and Operators School (OJT Tana), and Advanced Building School.
- School of Agribusiness. This will absorb the Yatta School of Agriculture.
- School of Hospitality. This will absorb the NYS Catering School in Gilgil.
- School of Fashion. This will absorb the Tailoring and Dress Making School in Naivasha and the Textile and Garment Institute.
- School of Enterprise and Technology. This will absorb the Institute of Business Studies.
- School of Public Duty. This will absorb the NYS Driving School.
The fourth pillar is dubbed Enterprise and Youth Economy. It authors that
This thematic pillar will provide a strategy for exploiting the youth bulge to become a demographic dividend. It answers the question ‘what next after NYS training’. Through its revitalization, the NYS can become a youth transition institution that connects the youth to gainful employment opportunities and self-employment in the present day economy. This exit phase will be the vehicle for realizing the pledges of the Jubilee government. The discipline, work ethic and vocational skill derived from NYS training will be a distinct selling point for these graduates as they enter the job market.
It is split into
1. SEPU/SACCOs – Establish a revolving fund to provide startup capital to NYS graduates. NYS graduates will be encouraged to organise themselves in squads (15), and will benefit from the funds as squads. The purpose of the squad is to provide social collateral
2. Integrated Construction Company – Multi-disciplinary company integrating masons, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and civil engineers. Graduates from school of construction and members of youth construction guilds are absorbed here. It will also include retraining and certification of skilled construction labour.
3. Youth Labour Export – Refereed labour export bureau for middle level blue collar skills and building forward linkages with private sector abroad through Kenya‟s economic and commercial attachés.
4. Commercialization of NYS training institutes – The idea in this is to create a module II training programme for percolation of social transformation training to non-NYS recruits. The intention is to double the capacity of trainees from 6,000 to 12,000. It will also create production units in the training centers. It also envision creating a revolving fund for expansion and maintenance
These pillars are certainly sound in terms of their target to various sectors in the economy. Only time will tell how they transform youth in the country and also positively contribute to nation building.
You can download and read the document here