YouthhubAfrica, a youth-focused non-profit organisation has called on the federal government to complete the United Nations junior professional officers programme, which it signed with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) almost three years ago.
The organisation regretted that no Nigerian has benefited from the project despite the budgetary provision of over N2 billion for it in 2013.
“YouthhubAfrica notes that despite the N2.1 billion set aside for the project in the 2013 and 2014 budget of the federal ministry of youth development, no young Nigerian has benefited from the project till date,” said Rotimi Olawale, executive director of the group, in a statement.
“More worrisome is the claim of the federal ministry of youth development in a response to a freedom of information request sent by YouthhubAfrica that it is still in the process of actualising the programme, despite the fact that there are no budgetary provisions for it in the 2015 budget.
“It is commendable that Nigeria is the only African country out of over 20 countries that have signed on to the UN JPO programme; it is however not befitting that the plan sits on paper.
“The initial agreement is to deploy 37 young Nigerian professionals (one from each state and the FCT) to work with the UN in several locations around the world and gain invaluable professional experiences.
“We are convinced that the JPO holds a huge potential to create a corps of young professionals and we therefore recommend that budget for it be inserted into the 2015 supplementary budget and the FMoYD re-initiate conversation with the UNDP to bring the programme to light.”
YouthhubAfrica says it will continue to engage with the federal ministry of youth development, the national assembly, the UN and relevant stakeholders in its quest to ensure that the project is completed.