The Executive Director of Enterprise Uganda, Charles Ocici on Monday confirmed that he has been charging each youth undergoing training for entrepreneurship skills an attendance fee of 50,000 shillings.
Ocici says the money is a contribution towards the skills they get to do business and create jobs for themselves.
Ocici, who talked on phone from Dar-es- Salaam, Tanzania, where he is conducting similar enterprise training, said the 50,000 shillings is a standard fee that his organization has been charging every participant for the past four years.
He said that in the youth training for skills project, the fee is a percentage contribution demanded of the participants. He further explained that the Kampala groups are supposed to contribute 20 percent of the training costs while upcountry participants contribute only two per cent.
Ocici and Uganda Youth Alliance, a new organization started by President Yoweri Museveni’s son-in-law, Odrek Rwabwogo, are at the center of investigations called last week by legislators. The MPs are demanding to know why youths are charged for trainings that are being paid for under a government budget of 44 billion shillings.
Last week MPs on the Trade and Industry committee demanded, through the sector Minister Amelia Kyambadde, that the 44 billion shillings be immediately channeled through a government system and not directly to Uganda Youth Alliance and Enterprise Uganda.
The Uganda Youth Alliance has since denied charging or receiving the 50,000 shillings and instead referred our reporter to Enterprise Uganda.
The arrangement between the two organizations is under the Public Private Partnership – PPP, contained in the National Development Plan of the government of Uganda.
Ocici, however, clarified that enterprise Uganda is not taking the whole 44 billion shillings but only 3.5 billion to subsidize its trainings. He defended the charges saying that it is part of the attitude training to make the unemployed youths learn that the private sector is competitive and not for free.
Ocici said the 80 percent and 98 percent government contributions for urban and upcountry youth trainings respectively, are even on the higher end because the ideal in the development plan was supposed to be 70 percent.
The MPs expect minister Amelia Kyambadde and her team to return to parliament this week with reports of a meeting to discuss the fate and placement of the youth training.