The Federal Government of Nigeria, European Union and UNDP Onboards Fellows from the First Batch of the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme

November 10, 2022

ABUJA - On 11 November, 2022, United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and with funding from the European Union officially launched the onboarding process of Nigeria Jubilee Fellows who had been matched to private and public sector enterprises. The Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme seeks to connect fresh graduates with job opportunities that apply their expertise, while equipping them with world-class practical knowledge and future-ready skills.

During the launch, H.E. Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, expressed great optimism and honour in onboarding the NJFP Fellows to the programme. “The President launched the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Program in August 2021. The idea is to have every year, 20,000 Jubilee Fellows working in establishments all around Nigeria, learning work skills, and being mentored by entrepreneurs, business managers and experienced public servants. And they are paid every month for the entire period of their service.” H.E. Professor Osinbajo further added that, “The birth of the Jubilee Fellowship is an important statement on the new and dynamic way to solve economic problems today. It must be a collaboration between the government, private sector, civil society, development partners or what is called today the “third sector.” It must be individuals in these sectors, coming together to talk informally and then developing big game-changing ideas. This is how we have seen the Nigeria Jubilee Fellowship Programme come to be.”

Senior Government Officials, the European Union Ambassador, the UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative, Private and Public company representatives among others attended the onboarding of the Fellows who have so far been matched and placed with host organizations as part of the placement and onboarding process.

Speaking at the ceremony, the European Union Ambassador, Ms. Samuela Isopi, said “I am proud that the support of European Union, in the amount of 44 million euros is making a difference in the lives of young Nigerian graduates. This is the first concrete commitment that the European Union has made in support of Nigerian youth, as part of our Multiannual Programme with Nigeria that we launched in February this year.” She further added that, “Our objective, as partners of this Programme, is to support the creation of a new green and smart jobs, in tech and innovation, research, telecom, agriculture and green economy, for Nigerian young graduates.”

Nigeria and Africa at large are grappling with the rising unemployment and underemployment of its largest populace, the youth. By and large, the main contributor to the rising unemployment is the difficulties in matching accessible talent at entry level roles in Nigeria, paired with the recovery from an economic recession and the multisector impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; hence there is an urgent need to bridge the gap between teeming local talent and human resource demands of the job market. The programme aims to match 20,000 fellows to host organizations on a one year fellowship programme.

Delivering his opening remarks, Mr. Mathias Schmale, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Nigeria, stated that, “Nigeria contributes close to 20 percent of this continents young people and if harnessed properly this population of young people offers a critical opportunity towards achieving

Nigeria’s aspirations, accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals and becoming its greatest assets as agents of change.” He furthered added that, “As I have traveled the country the last few months, I have witnessed first-hand that young people are ready not just to speak up but to take the lead proactively on development if given the opportunity.”

The Nigeria Jubilee Fellowship Programme’s goal is to bridge the gap of unemployment and human resource demands of the job market by connecting young talented graduates with local job opportunities that apply their expertise, while equipping them with world-class practical knowledge and relevant skills. The programme will serve all of Nigeria – from North to South and East to West – ensuring that organisations and youth from all corners of the country can participate through merit-based selection. This Programme will also grant organizations access to top-talent by providing them a wide-range of highly qualified candidates with cutting-edge skills relevant to their organization. Additionally, companies will cut through the lead-time and resources spent recruiting entry level roles.

Mr. Mohamed Yahya, UNDP Resident Representative for Nigeria, speaking during the onboarding event emphasized that, “This day belongs to the fellows in the room and those following online as they represent the hope and aspiration of this great nation. Unlike popularly perceived, young people are NOT a ticking-time-bomb waiting to explode, rather a national resource and asset waiting to be unleased.” He further congratulated the fellows present at the NJFP onboarding event as they were a representation of a roster of 20,000 pre-selected fresh graduates from across the country, ready to be deployed to placement opportunities in private and public sector enterprise. Mr. Yahya thanked the Federal Government of Nigeria and H.E. the Vice President of being a true champion of youth develoment and empowerment. He thanked the private and public sector for embracing the NJFP from beginning and for providing the youth a funnel to gain market ready skils that contribute to their development through job learning. Mr. Yahya concluded by appreciating the EU, “Allow me to thank the European Union for taking a chance on the young people of Nigeria and investing significant resources to catalyse the implementation of the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme.”

Note to Editors

 About the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme:

Empowering Nigerian graduates with opportunities. Launched on 31st of August 2021, the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) is a youth empowerment partnership initiative between the Federal Government of Nigeria implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the European Union. The programme seeks to connect talented graduates with local job opportunities that apply their expertise while equipping them with world-class practical knowledge and relevant skills. Learn more:

About the European Union:

The European Union is a unique partnership among 27 European countries.  These countries are determined to shape their future together.  For over 65 years, they have built a zone of peace, stability, progress and solidarity.  The European Union is a model for overcoming conflict and promoting reconciliation through close co-operation to achieve common goals, while respecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity.  The ambition of the European Union is to share its achievements and its values with countries and people beyond its borders.

As young people make up 70% of Nigeria’s population, the EU’s partnership with Nigeria has a strong focus on the youth.  Learn more:

About UNDP:

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the leading United Nations organisation fighting to end the injustices of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with a broad network of experts and partners in over 170 countries, UNDP helps nations to build integrated and lasting solutions for people and the planet.

 In Nigeria, UNDP provides technical and policy development support to the Federal Government of Nigeria and supports the implementation of interventions across various thematic areas to meet the medium to long-term national development prioritiesand the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn more:

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