Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a membership-based non-profit organization of young active citizens aged 18 to 40 in more than 100 countries who are dedicated to creating positive change in their communities. With about 5,000 Local Organizations, JCI forms a vibrant global community of nearly 200,000 active citizens with millions of alumni. JCI Nigeria is the first youth organization of its kind in Nigeria and was established in 1957 with members across every state of the federation.
Since 1983, JCI has formally recognized young persons who have excelled in their chosen fields of endeavour and created positive change in their communities through its annual Ten Outstanding Young Persons (JCI TOYP) Awards.
Past recipients of the JCI TOYP Awards in Nigeria include such well-known personalities as Dr. Ola Orekunrin (won TOYP World in 2013), Ray Ekpu (won TOYP World in 1988), Sidi Modupe Osho (won TOYP World in 1996), Sir Shina Peters, Kanu Nwankwo, John Momoh, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, Nduka Obaigbena, Ibukun Awosika, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Daddy Showkey, Richard Mofe Damijo, Gbenga Sesan, Linda Ikeji, Japheth Omojuwa, and legends such as the late Bimbo Odukoya, MEE Mofe-Damijo and Amaka Igwe. All were named before the age of 40, and before they had achieved national prominence.
Speaking on the 2017 TOYP Awards, JCI Nigeria President, JCI Senator Richard Babajide Ojo says, “As an organization working towards the fulfilment of its mission of empowering the youth, JCI Nigeria recognizes young people who excel in their chosen fields, endeavours and in commitments to their communities. These young people’s stories of discovery, determination and ingenuity help inspire others to be better leaders and create better societies.”
On the nomination and voting process, the 2017 Chairman TOYP Awards, ‘Bisi Ogunwale explains, “Any Nigerian can nominate anyone between the ages of 18 and 40. A select panel of eminent and credible Nigerians from different walks will serve as judges for the nominations phase, while members of the public will be invited to vote on the nominations after the release of a shortlist in each category.”
He also added that JCI Nigeria partner, KPMG, a reputable international professional services firm, will carry out verification of nominations and voting process.
The 2017 JCI Nigeria TOYP Award Ceremony takes place in Lagos in September, coinciding with JCI Nigeria’s 60th anniversary. The Nigerian Honourees will later be presented for the global JCI TOYP Awards alongside other honourees from over a hundred JCI countries, out of which the final list of Ten global honourees will be selected and awarded in Amsterdam, Netherlands in November 2017.