Abuja, 14 Feb 2021 - The Federal Government, with financial support from the European Union (EU) and in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has launched the Jubilee Fellows Fund, an innovative financing instrument that will enable a diverse set of stakeholders to support the roll-out and implementation of the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP). Launched in August 2021, the NJFP is a government led youth employment initiative that will place 20,000 young Nigerians graduates annually with one-year paid work placements in private and public sector companies across the country.
There is critical need for diverse support and resource mobilization, beyond traditional public finance and international aid, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address some of the country’s biggest challenges, like youth unemployment. The Jubilee Fellows Fund provides an opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders, including private sector, start-ups, foundations, international financial institutions, philanthropists and multilateral and bilateral donors to contribute funding towards the implementation of the NJFP, helping to provide a solution to the high rate of unemployment of young people across the country.
“Youth unemployment continues to be one of the most ardent challenges facing Nigeria today. The Federal Government is working tirelessly to reduce unemployment through various policies that support existing businesses, encourage start-ups and build an efficient workforce.”, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria declared in his written remarks. “It is my firm belief that the Jubilee Fellows Programme will provide a template for empowerment across the continent. It is a true testament to how collaboration between government, development partners and the private sector should work.”
In attendance at the high-level launch event in Abuja today was Mrs. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President, European Commission; the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Mr. Otunba R. Adenyi Adebayo who represented His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of Nigeria; the Honourable Minister of State, Budget and Planning, Mr. Prince Clem Ikanade Agba; Her Excellency Samuela Isopi, Ambassador at the Delegation of the European Union to the Federal Republic of Nigeria & ECOWAS; Mr. Matthias Schmale, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (a.i), United Nations in Nigeria and Mr. Mohamed Yahya, Resident Representative, UNDP Nigeria.
Ambassadors and high-level representatives from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Norway as well as EuroCham Nigeria and private sector leaders, were also present at the launch event.
During the launch of the Fund, the EU signed a development cooperation agreement of €55million with the Federal Government of Nigeria out of which €44million is earmarked for the NJFP. The Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Mrs. Margrethe Vestager declared “Our objective in this programme is to support the creation of new green and smart jobs for young graduates, including women and groups living in vulnerable situations. These are exactly the type of jobs we wish to promote under the new EU Multiannual Indicative Programme for Nigeria and under the Global Gateway initiative”.
The Fund will be managed by the UNDP on behalf of the Government and partners, and a Steering Committee comprised of contributing partners will provide strategic guidance and oversight on the direction and execution of the Fund. The Steering Committee will be supported by a high-level Advisory Group of private sector leaders which was also inaugurated at the event.
“I want to call on everyone – from private sector leaders to the international community and the Nigerian diaspora – to accompany the development journey of young Nigerians and lend their support to the Fund as the success of the Jubilee Fellows Programme is our collective gain.”, Mr. Mohamed Yahya, Resident Representative at UNDP Nigeria said. “The homegrown talent we have here in Nigeria is immense and it is critical that stakeholders from all backgrounds collectively work together to provide the foundation for young people to flourish and thrive.”
Contributions will be received and administered by the UNDP in accordance with UNDP Financial Rules and Regulations and an online dashboard, tracking resource mobilization from public and private sources, is currently being established. The possibility for private individuals to contribute with donations to the Fund, via a crowd funding platform, will also be tested as part of the innovative financing model for the NJFP.
About the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme
The NJFP is a joint youth employability initiative by the Federal Government of Nigeria and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to champion homegrown Nigerian talent by connecting young Nigerians with local job opportunities.
Through the programme, 20,000 fresh graduates annually will be equipped with on-the-job skills through a 12 month fully paid placement opportunity in private sector institutions, development agencies, NGOs and selected public sector entities. In addition, fellows will gain access to market-oriented skills through tailored mentorship and coaching programmes.
The programme will bridge the gap between graduates and the labour market, building a pipeline of young talent that is ‘future- ready’ and understands the needs, challenges and realities that companies face in a changing post-COVID job landscape.
For more information and media enquiries contact:
Federal Government of Nigeria:
Arukaino Umukoro, Special Assistant to the President, Office of the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, email@example.com
Alison Clement, Acting Head of Communications, UNDP Nigeria, firstname.lastname@example.org