Matilda Sakwa, Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Services (NYS), has announced that she has faced a difficult task processing numerous tenders since being confirmed as the first-ever female service commander .
Speaking to Nation.africa, Ms Sakwa said that at some point she wished she had quit because of the pressure.
In addition to the demand for tenders, there was also pressure from politicians, which almost made them throw in the towel.
“The biggest pressure right now is sourcing pressure. People still think NYS has a lot of money. Every morning three, four, five people knock on my door and say they want to win the bid,” she added.< /p>
“The pressure is on and in one moment I felt like giving up and giving up. I was However, I realized that if I gave up work, someone would come,” Ms. Sakwa said.
She observed that the pressure is increasing due to many people’s past perceptions has that NYS had a lot of money and those who approached it wanted to help them.
“Which made me quit sometimes brings is this beast called procurement. It’s just a headache. It’s a big headache because people have problems. Shoppers are funny. What I want to say here is if NYS is going to fail, the failure will come from procurement. That’s the plain truth. It’s not just in NYS. Any organization that fails begins with the procurement phase.”
She continued, “Look at what the Kenya Medical Board is going through. The reason is procurement problems. I don’t know what angels are being deployed to end this sourcing mess.”
She said before she was appointed in 2018 there was a lot of over-buying of items at NYS, some of which are still gathering dust in stores.
She revealed that the perception created in the past that NYS has lots of money is still putting pressure on she goes about her daily work.
“This pressure is not good because you can lose friends because they think you are not helping them. Some of these people aren’t even prequalified to provide goods and services to NYS,” she added.
She continued: I stood firm and I got them saying, as long as I am the NYS chief, the state agency will not be blindly supplied with goods or services during my tenure. Many think I’m the roadblock between them and their pay.”
She noted that NYS has received a huge budget in the past for running certain programs like youth empowerment .
“NYS had a huge budget of Sh25 billion but it was reduced to Sh8 billion.”
she said her secret so far has been doing the right thing and making sure every payment is scrutinized as it is sourced.
“The good thing is that “I have a very supportive council that has supported me. Audit measures to ensure we are doing the right thing. Aside from these measures, my other important resource is to obey the law. I don’t bend the law. The secret of my success is obeying the law laws, the Public Procurement Act and the State Finance Act. That’s how I stayed safe.”
Subst Family support
She also admitted that her family has been very supportive and this has helped her cope with the pressure.
“My family is my backbone. My family is my cornerstone. Everything I do, I do because of my family. They supported me and gave me the confidence to do my job. God has given me good children who are very supportive,” said the mother of four, two boys and two girls.
Ms Service has years of experience, said another big problem it faces is outstanding invoices.
“This is another huge problem. These outstanding bills have exposed NYS to a massive scandal. Some of the people pushing for their outstanding bills to be paid have never delivered goods or offered services to NYS.”
However, she said she has stood her ground and will not allow NYS to slide into another scandal.
“I vowed to carry on because even if I choose to quit, someone else will be appointed to come and this to clean up the mess NYS,” she explained.
However, she revealed that she also had some happy moments at NYS, which she dedicated to many years to come.
“My happiest moments are when I see the youth who graduate from NYS with skills get jobs. Most employers come straight to NYS to look for future employees The feedback I get from potential employers is very positive t me,” said Ms. Sakwa, who is a graduate of Lwak Girls Secondary School in Siaya County and St. Mary’s Girls High School in Igoji, Meru County.
Last year She was ranked among the top 40 CEOs in Africa by Knowledge Warehouse, a non-governmental organization, for her efforts to transform the NYS and the lives of youth in Kenya.
” I was ranked for my efforts to transform the youth who are the heartbeat of this nation and transform an organization that has been a headache for the government,” she said.
Best Government Agency
“NYS is the best government agency when it is well funded and embedded in the national development agenda. NYS can transform this country just as developed first world countries use their youth.”
She said she has no future political ambitions.
< p class="align--justify">She said that when her term ends in 2025, she wants to be remembered as the first woman duty commander who brought about change at NYS.
“I want the NYS fraternity to remember me as a person who transformed the agency and transformed their lives by exposing officials to the world so they could work with other organizations,” she concluded . p>