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Nigeria, UNDP sign MoU on youth employment


[FILE PHOTO] Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama

The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for the engagement of young Nigerian professionals in the UN agency.

Tagged, ‘Professional Officers Programme (JPO-P)’, the initiative allows governments of interested countries to enlist the number of their citizens they can afford to fund in the agency for career development.

The agreement, which was signed recently by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on behalf of the Nigerian government and the Acting Resident Representative, UNDP, Joerg Kuehnel, for UNDP, is aimed at ensuring that interested countries have their citizens represented in the agency’s career hierarchy.


Although the number of Nigerians that would benefit from the programme was not disclosed, the Minister however assured that the government of Nigeria will implement its own part of the bargain depending on its financial ability.

JPO-P was said to have come into existence in 1963, with many countries participating through the enlistment of their citizens.

According to the UNDP representative, there are about 150 junior professional officers from various countries across the world that have benefited from the programme.

At the signing ceremony, which took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kuehnel noted that the number of youths employed from each country is dependent on individual governments who are expected to fund it.

Onyeama recalled that Nigeria first signed unto the initiative in 2012, but could not utilise the opportunity, which expired in 2015.

With the signing of the agreement, the Minister stressed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken the initiative to reactivate the programme that will not only launch the careers of young Nigerians in the United Nations system, but also help in building capacity and human resources.

According to Onyeama, the initiative would positively impact the future of Nigeria’s representation in the UN.

Stressing that the government is prepared to implement the initiative, Onyeama believed that JPO-P would give more opportunities for young Nigerians to work with UN.

In his remarks, Kuehnel expressed delight that Nigeria was committed to the programme, which he described as very important.

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