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FG to launch fellowship programme for 20,000 graduates

FG to launch fellowship programme for 20,000 graduates
June 02
22:02 2021

The federal government says it will launch a fellowship programme which will target 20,000 graduates annually.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo announced this on Wednesday at an event in Abuja.

Tagged, ‘Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP)’, the project is in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), European Union (EU) and private sector partners such as Dangote, Visa Nigeria, BUA, Lafarge Africa, Microsoft, among others.

Under the initiative, internship opportunities will be created for young Nigerians who have recently concluded the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.

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The fully-paid internships will last for 12 months and will be in reputable private and public sector organisations across the country.

Osinbajo said the one-year fellowship programme will be launched by President Muhammadu Buhari “very shortly”.

He noted that the NJFP will rewrite the narrative as it relates to jobs, skills and employment in Nigeria.

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“We are resolute in our determination to make the needed difference, and rebuild the confidence of our young people in the ability of their government to rise up to the occasion and guarantee a future that is better and more prosperous than the past,” he said.

“Our ongoing efforts include the N-Power Scheme, which recruits young graduates and places them in agricultural, health and education intervention schemes in local communities around the country. N-Power also has a non-graduate scheme focused on technical skills and IT education.

“The president has approved the expansion of the N-Power programme from 500,000 beneficiaries to one million this year.

“We have also established a N75 billion youth fund in the ministry of youth and sports to provide credit and support for young entrepreneurs and professionals.”

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Also speaking at the event, Ketil Karlsen, EU representative, pledged the support of the organisation for the programme, and affirmed the EU’s confidence in the Nigerian youth.

Expressing the support of the United Nations for the programme, Edward Kallon, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, said the launch and eventual implementation of the scheme will redefine the future of Nigeria.

According to him, “having a population of 41 million young people constituting 30 percent of the youth population in Africa — empowering young Nigerians — will be key in the actualisation of a better future for Africa.”

“The Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme will bridge the gap between graduates and industry. Through this programme, private sector entities, startups and key public sector institutions will be connected directly to graduates to find the best young talent that Nigeria has to offer,” Kallon said.

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“Graduates will be able to better understand the needs, challenges and realities that industries broadly face, and learn how best to contribute to address them.”

Kallon further commended Osinbajo for his contributions towards enabling a bright future for Nigeria.

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Nigeria’s unemployment rate hit a new record high at 33.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The country also ranked third on a list of countries with the highest unemployment rate globally.

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