The Federal Government and the United Nations Development Programme in partnership to support thirty seven young professional.
The Federal Government and the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, that would empower the country to sponsor 37 young Nigerians into the Junior Professional Officer’s, JPO, programme.
The agreement signed in Abuja formally introduces Nigeria as the first African nation to join 19 other donor countries supporting the UNDP’s Junior Professional Officer’s programme.
The countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, currently sponsor about 294 JPOs around the world.
At the agreement signing ceremony, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while the UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of Management, Jens Wandel, signed on behalf of the UNDP.
“This is indeed a major milestone that we are witnessing today” Ade Lekoetje, the UNDP Country Director, said. “By signing this Memorandum of Understanding to become a donor country for the Junior Professional Officer’s programme, Nigeria is making yet another proclamation of its commitment to the ideals of the UN’s unwavering quest for peace and security, and improving the lives of people.”
The JPO Programme is administered by the UNDP and its affiliated funds and programmes. It provides the opportunity for young professionals to gain valuable experience in the international environment in their core professional fields.
“By subscribing to the JPO Programme, Nigeria is opening an opportunity to young, talented Nigerians to alternative career options. It will give young Nigerians from across the country the opportunity to pursue careers in development with hands-on experience in multi-lateral technical co-operation.
“This is an affirmative step by Nigeria to take its rightful place as a leading country in Africa and on the development scene. JPOs make a tremendous contribution across the globe,” Ms. Lekoetje.
Mr. Anyim, who described the event as remarkable, said it is another significant milestone in the Federal Government’s effort to actualize a major component of its Transformation Agenda.
“The JPO initiative will no doubt enhance and indeed galvanize the objective of the present administration to further empower Nigerian youths by exposing them to a critical international platform that will showcase their enormous, deep intellectual capacity and knowledge,” Mr. Anyim said.
He assured that the Federal Government and UNDP would soon begin a rigorous recruitment process to select 37 Nigerians for the programme, adding that with President Goodluck Jonathan commitment to the project, he was confident that the country’s partnership with UNDP would guarantee its success.