LIBERIA: VP Koung Tours Bentol Youth Center -Decries Abandonment of Facility By Past Administrations

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Vice President Jeremiah Kpan Koung on Friday, May 3, 2024 toured the Ministry of Youth and Sports’ Youth Agriculture Training Center in Benton City, Montserrado County.

The purpose of the visit, according to a release from the Office of the Vice President, was to assess the condition of the facility. It has been earmarked for use in the rehabilitation of “At-Risk Youths” grappling with drug and substance abuse, a major concern of President Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s administration.
Vice President Koung observed during the day-long tour the deplorable status of the Bentol Youth Agriculture Center.
He expressed serious frustration over how past governments have played death ears to the smooth running of the center.

He said it is saddening to see the center in such a deplorable condition thereby frustrating the effort of the vision bearer, the Late President William R. Tolbert.

VP Koung, therefore, disclosed that the Unity Party(UP)-led Government’s plan to do everything humanly possible to get the Youth Agriculture Center on the path with other training centers across the country.
He told residents of Bentol that Four Million (US$4 Million) has been budgeted into the current fiscal National Budget for rehabilitating all (training) youth centers across the country.
He, however, expressed serious concerns over the ongoing illegal mining activities by some foreigners within the Youth Agriculture Center in Bentol territory.
As a result of the illegal mining activities, the Vice President believes it has contributed to the damages done to the facilities.
He then assured residents of the area that the Boakai and Koung-led government would do everything possible to carry out the needed renovation work to enable disadvantaged youth and others to acquire skills training at the facility.
Speaking earlier the Director of the Center, Joseph Adebodun told the Vice President that illegal miners mainly foreigners continue to encroach on the one thousand five hundred (1,500) acres of land belonging to the center.
He further informed the Vice President about the looting of the facility by some individuals who were asked to guard the center.
The delegation on the tour of the center comprised esteemed government officials, including Senators Abraham Darius Dillon and Saah Harlie Joseph of Montserrado County and Senate’s Committee Chairman on Youth and Sports, Senator Johnny K. Kpehe, Sr. from Bong County. Others were, Montserrado County Superintendent Whroway Byrant, Youth and Sports Minister Cllr. Cole Bangalu, Deputy Minister for TVET Larramand Nyonton, and Deputy Youth & Sports Minister Bryant McGill.

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