The programme to be launched soon by President Buhari, will place young Nigerians in private and public sector organisations across the country.
Abuja, 2 June 2021 - Rising unemployment and the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are just two factors that are affecting the ability of graduates in Nigeria to find work. In response, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Office of the Vice President and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced an initiative yesterday that will match 20,000 highly skilled graduates with yearlong job placements in public and private sectors, across multiple industries.
In attendance at the official announcement was the Vice President of Nigeria, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, who said His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari would soon formally launch the initiative.
Other top government officials include the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, His Excellency, Mr. Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo CON, Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, His Excellency, Amb. Ketil Karlsen, Resident Humanitarian Coordinator, UN in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon and the UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Mohamad Yahya, attended the announcement of the programme in Abuja.
According to one 2019 estimate, about 25 million graduates remain unemployed across the country. The Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme(NJFP) aims to bridge this gap between young, talented Nigerians, and local opportunities that will help them to succeed as they begin their career.
In his remarks, the Vice President stated “We absolutely must create good-paying jobs and employment opportunities for our young people, for those already in the labour market today and the ones who will join tomorrow. This is a task that is complicated by numerous employability issues including the mismatch between skills and the good jobs available. The most obvious examples are new skill sets required in commerce, industry, services and the professions especially those brought about by the digital economy.”
“The Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme, for which we are here today, is important especially as it fits into some of the efforts we are making as a government, some of the initiatives of the administration to comprehensively address youth unemployment.”
The NJFP is a 12-month fully paid programme designed to enhance graduates’ employability; build leadership, entrepreneurial and on-the-job skills; and expose them to real-world business environments. Graduates are able to better understand the needs, challenges and realities that companies face, and learn how best to address them. The long-term goal would be for the Fellows to feel that they are playing a meaningful part in growing the private and public sector landscape, helping to shape the future of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, participating companies are connected directly to graduates to find the best young talent that Nigeria offers. Once matched, they are able to welcome a talented and skilled young person to their team for a year, with salary covered by the programme.
Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, His Excellency, Amb. Ketil Karlsen noted that the programme is a timely development, “The importance of youth must never be underestimated. The Nigeria Jubilee Fellowship Programme is exactly the sort of bold initiative needed to give thousands of youth new opportunities”.
This fellowship is designed to help fresh NYSC graduates with zero work experience, who often find it challenging to break into the professional world.
“This programme helps graduates get a boost in a changing post-COVID job landscape” said UNDP Resident Representative Mohamed Yahya. “The pandemic has upended our lives in many ways and made it even more difficult for young graduates entering the job market. By creating a channel between graduates and companies, we are helping to connect talented young Nigerians with local opportunities that apply their expertise, while equipping them with world-class practical knowledge”.
Alison Clement, Acting Head of Communications, UNDP Nigeria| firstname.lastname@example.org
Jude Zoho, Media Assistant, Office of the Vice President | email@example.com