From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship (KIF) is set to open its application portal for the 6th cohort of fellows, where successful applicants will begin a one year programme with Kaduna State Government.
It will be recalled that the Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship was established as a leadership capacity building programme by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, and it admitted its first cohort of fellows in 2018.
In a press briefing, the Administrator of Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship Administrator, Zainab Mohammed, said that, “they are looking forward to receiving applications from Nigerians all over the world”
Explaining what the fellowship is all about, Ms Mohammed said it ‘’is a one-year, non-partisan Leadership programme envisioned by the Kaduna State Government to create a network of high potential young Nigerians who are expected to rise to top leadership positions in the Public Sector having had a first-hand experience of its workings and challenges.’’
The Administrator recalled that since its inception in 2018, ‘’KIF has graduated 70 Alumni Fellows, many of whom work in Public Service across all levels, while some work in multinational institutions and Non-Governmental Ogranisations,” adding that the Fellowship is now in its fifth cycle.
Speaking on what inspired the programme, she disclosed that, “Governor Nasir El-Rufai wants to attract the youngest, the brightest of Nigerians to spend one year in government, not from the cynical point of view of just abusing the government.
‘’They will have the opportunity of working with heads of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, to see the challenges and opportunities. This may just change their minds about the public sector,’’ she added.
Ms Mohammed said that applicants must be Nigerians to be eligible for the programme, ‘’because we are looking at solving a Nigerian problem. You also have to be in the age bracket of 25-35, because this demographic is the largest in Nigeria.
“Also, you should not be very set in your ways, you should be able to think outside the box. We need people who are not very sentimental. They should have the energy and the capacity and they should also be people that adapt to technology and the current situation. They must have completed their NYSC, having graduated from a recognized institution,’’ she added.
The Administrator stated that the four components of the program are “the work placement, the education component, the community service, and then the Fellowship”.
She explained the Fellowship will give applicants an opportunity ‘’ to put their thoughts into words, apart from their essay, where we give you a topic, just to be able to judge their reasoning and thought pattern. ‘’
According to her, it is good for a leader to be able to sell his or her vision, adding that ‘’ we also have the ‘personal statement’, where we want to see what your vision is, what your drive and passion is, especially for making change; what have you done in society?’’
The Administrator said that the programme would like to know if the applicants have affected the life of someone in school, adding that ‘’some people give extra-curricular classes, just for free, because they want to brush up the next generation.
“Some people are very passionate about women and the girl-child; some are passionate about different things, but what have they done towards pursuing that passion. In your personal statement, you will be able to tell us,’’ she added.