By John Chola
Minister of Youth, Sport, and Arts Elvis Nkandu says implementation of youth empowerment programmes that will address challenges faced by youths across Zambia has commenced.
Nkandu says one of the empowerment programmes commencing is the distribution of 50 fuel tanker project aimed at benefiting over 50 cooperatives from across the country.
Speaking at a media briefing, Thursday, Nkandu assured the country that the new dawn government will ensure the fuel tanker trucks project was done differently from the “poorly managed” format by the previous administration.
He explained that the fuel tanker project will target youth registered cooperatives across the country guiding that those who would benefit from the project will have to apply and be approved by the provincial administration as provided by the new empowerment guidelines.
“Cooperatives will get application forms from the ministry headquarters and applications should be backed by endorsement from the provincial administration. And cooperatives that will benefit from this second phase of the 50 fuel tanker trucks will be entered into business incubation through a memorandum of understanding between our Ministry and the existing oil marketing company that will assist in managing the fuel tankers on behalf of government and the cooperatives, and subsequently, mentor youths into the oil transportation business,” Nkandu explained.
He stated that it was his Ministry’s that capacity is built in the Youth to run the tanker trucks on their own after they payback and for them to dominate the transport sector.
The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Airt has also scheduled review meetings at which it will be reviewing progress made in the implementation of the fuel Tanker truck project under the new guidelines, to reflect on the status quo, way forward and to project for the future.
Nkandu announced that provinces will benefit five fuel tankers each and promised that the number will increase as the new dawn government through his ministry intend to procure another set of 50 fuel tankers this year.
“Meanwhile, we also reminded artists that benefited from the Youth Empowerment Loans to start paying back with immediate effect. We stated that failure to pay back as agreed will result in the government taking measures that will compel them to repay the loans. The government’s decision through our ministry to direct the immediate repayment is NOT targeting artists that had political affiliation but is necessary as the grace period has elapsed,” said Nkandu.