FG, United Nations, EU, private sector partners kick off 20,000 annual jobs

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN headlines the deployment of the Jubilee Fellows Program today at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. 10th Nov, 2022. Photos; Tolani Alli


The first set of beneficiaries of the Federal Government backed Jubilee Fellows Programme have now been assigned their one-year paid jobs, just as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, explained that the Programme is a part of the Buhari Administration’s continued efforts to address the challenge of youth and graduate employment in the country.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this today at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, in his keynote address at the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) onboarding event for the first batch of beneficiaries who have been matched with an employer, and several hundreds of them were selected to physically attend the ceremony, while several thousand others joined virtually.

The Vice President noted that the Federal Government will continue to provide platforms to empower young Nigerians with strong employability skills which can be deployed to solve national and global socio-economic challenges.

Describing the new batch of fellows as a “powerful and energetic gathering of potential entrepreneurs, business leaders, public sector leaders, and the movers and shakers of business and industry today and in the future,” the Vice President urged them to build their knowledge, skills and competence through dedication, hard work and collaboration.

“You are young and educated at the most advanced moment in human history. This is the most advantageous moment for any young person and many of you are proving this.

“Since 2015, we have seen 6 tech and innovation companies who are now described as Unicorns, that is a company valued at over one billion dollars, established by young men and women under 30, many of them trained in Nigerian universities.

“But you don’t have to be the entrepreneur to be a success. You can be the great software engineer, the administrator, or the manager of men and resources. Every day presents that great opportunity, seize this moment and achieve your best dreams.”

Speaking further, the Vice President stated that the birth of the Programme was an important statement on the new and dynamic way to solve present economic problems.

“It must be a collaboration between government, private sector, and civil society, development partners or what is called third sector. It must be individuals in these sectors, coming together to talk informally and then developing big game changing ideas,” the VP stated.

Launched on August 31, 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) is a youth empowerment partnership between the Federal Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), European Union (EU) and other partners which aims to connect talented young graduates with local job opportunities that apply their expertise while equipping them with world-class practical knowledge and relevant skills.

The NJFP is expected to annually provide 20,000 young Nigerian graduates with a 12-month paid job internships at leading firms, companies and in the public sector.

According to the VP “the idea is to have every year, 20,000 Jubilee Fellows working in establishments all around Nigeria, learning work skills, being mentored by entrepreneurs, business managers and experienced public servants. And they are paid every month for the year.”

Addressing the first batch of NJFP fellows, Prof. Osinbajo further urged them to become valuable employees by adding value to their respective organizations.

Emphasizing on how the young fellows can become valuable to their colleagues, co-employees and organisations, the VP said, “you must be prepared to make an impact on your employers and on your colleagues such that whenever they have to make a recommendation on who to employ, they think of you first.

“What is required in the modern workplace is a competent, knowledgeable team player. What every employer wants is a good team.”

The VP said “competence today is not just knowing what you are trained to do, it is also about being knowledgeable about a lot of things and that is by being prepared to learn, to study, to ask questions every day. The best worker is one who can multitask.”

Prof. Osinbajo commended the UNDP, EU, the private sector, and businesses for their support and commitments made towards the successful implementation of the programme.

In his remarks, the UNDP Representative to Nigeria, Mohamed Yahya, described the NJFP fellows as national resources.

“The day belongs to you the fellows in the room and those online. You all are a national resource, an asset to be unleashed,” Yayha stated.

Similarly, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, said “our objective, as partners of this Programme, is to support creation of new, green & smart jobs, in tech & innovation, research, telecom, agriculture & green economy for Nigerian young graduates.”

Also present at the event were the Special Adviser to the President, Policy and Coordination, Dr. Habiba Muda Lawal; UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Matthias Schmale; UNDP Resident Representative, Mohammed Yahya; European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Samuela ISOPI; Group CEO of NNPC Limited, Mr Mele Kyari; Managing Director, Sterling Bank, Mr Abubakar Suleiman and other representatives of the private sector.