PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday launched Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme designed to create new opportunities for 20,000 fresh graduates annually.
President Buhari in his remarks at the ceremony, which was held at the presidential villa, Abuja, assured that the programme would provide an opportunity for mentors already engaged in various industries with relevant experience and build capacity over the years to provide mentorship and support for young Nigerians.
According to him, “Beyond the skills and work experience, we will be building a new culture of mentorship and guidance that can chart a new course for skills development and work experience in our country.
“We believe that as this programme creates new opportunities for 20,000 recent graduates annually, the beneficiaries will use the opportunities presented to them and maximize their 12 months of engagement.”
He further said, “The jubilee programme will provide a pathway for young Nigerians to gain work experience in top tier organisations, gaining relevant skills and building the right networks for the future in various sectors including information and communications technology, financial services, trade, manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing.
“Other sectors include mining, telecommunications, creative industries and technology, education, health, research and development, and public sector institutions. We believe that building the right skills and experiences across these sectors are important to sustain the economic growth we are experiencing.’’
The President said the programme will build on other efforts of the government to support young Nigerians such as the N75 billion youth fund in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, which was created to support young Nigerians in business or with business ideas, with N25 billion released annually for three years.
He encouraged all eligible Nigerians to apply for the jubilee programme, while urging private sector organizations to join by providing work placement opportunities, mentors and funding.
In his remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo said the government remains appreciative of the role of private sector in transforming economies by creating employment and employment opportunities and investments.
He said start-ups, largely driven by young Nigerians, attracted 170 million dollars in the past year, which was the highest on the African continent, explaining that the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme was to celebrate the nation’s 60th anniversary.
The Resident Representative of UNDP, Mohammed Yahya assured that the UN will continually support Nigeria to move human potentials across the country to capacities and skills that will place the country on a better pedestal.
EU Deputy Head of Delegation, Alexandre Borges Gomes and UN Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon, commended the initiative, saying the programme benefitted from wide consultations.