President Julius Maada Bio has applauded the European Union (EU), National Authorising Office (NAO) and the National Youth Commission (NYC) during his visit over the weekend to a youth skills training programme targeting about 1,540 young people learning road construction at the Bandajuma-Liberia border road project in Pujehun District, Southern Province funded by the European Union Development Fund (EDF).
President Bio thanked EU Ambassador, Tom Vens, the head of National Authorising Office, Ambrose James, the National Youth Commissioner, Ngolo Katta and the construction company, CSE, for engaging able-bodied young men and women in road construction work in Pujehun District, southern Sierra Leone.
President Bio addressed youths and challenged them to form a ready workforce to work on future road construction projects in the country.
The EU Head of Delegation to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Tom Vens expressed excitement at progress on the Bandajuma-Liberia border road project, adding that about 80% of the 100-kilometer highway was already completed.
He said this is a huge a difference for Sierra Leone and the people along the 4,500-kilometre Trans-West African Coastal Highway from Nouakchott to Lagos”, a transnational highway project that will link 12 West African coastal nations, from Mauritania in the north-west of the region to Nigeria in the east, with feeder roads already existing to two landlocked countries, Mali and Burkina Faso.
The National Youth Commissioner, Ngolo Katta said the project would continue to help young people with various skills in road construction, including welding, masonry, carpentry, steel bending and heavy-duty machine operators. He emphasised that the youth skills training programme separately targeted those community youths with no qualification and graduate youths who required hands-on training as engineers.