By John Ikani
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday launched Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme designed to create new opportunities for 20,000 fresh graduates annually.
Speaking during the ceremony at the State House, Abuja, Buhari assured that it would provide an opportunity for mentors who were already engaged in various industries, gained relevant experience and built 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.