The existing beneficial relations between the United Nations and the Nigerian Government has existed for decades. Apart from being a member of the United Nations, Nigeria is said to have contributed the fifth largest number of peacekeepers to United Nations peacekeeping operations globally and have recently served a two year term from 2014-2015 as a temporary member of the United Nations Security Council, that’s why it did not come as a surprise when the Nigerian Foreign Minister Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama signed an M.O.U with the UN acting representative in Nigeria, Mr. Joergy Kuehnel on the Junior Professional Officers Progrmme (JPOs) under the aegis of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Junior Professional Officers Programme (JPOs) is programme operated by the UN to provide young professionals pursuing careers in development with hands-on experience in multilateral technical co-operation. Although the programme had long started in several other countries with numerous beneficiaries of the program. This is the first of its kind in Africa, making Nigeria the first Africa country to partner with UN on the JPOs programme which will be coordinated by the UNDP but funded by the Nigerian government.
Individual JPOs contracts will be given to successfully recruited candidates, the individual contracts is usually valid for two years and are renewable for another 1-2 years or more in (exceptional cases), though it depends on the funding from the sponsoring government and the satisfactory performance of the candidates. In 2013 Nigeria signed an M.O.U with the UNDP to participate in the programme for three year period but the process was inconclusive, hence the reactivation of the programme which launches young professionals careers in the UN and affects positively Nigeria’s representation in the UN.