Could tech outsourcing safeguard Nigeria’s job market?

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By Laju Iren

UNEMPLOYMENT rate in Nigeria is the highest since 2009, with 11.2 million people without gainful employment. The Association of Information Technology Enabled Outsourcing Companies, NAITEOC, says that the situation can be turned around if the country moves in the direction of outsourcing, especially outsourcing of technology services to the front burner.

NAITEOC Chairman, Mr. David Onu, at an educational workshop on outsourcing in Lagos recently said: “This sector alone can provide 250,000 jobs within the next eighteen months, both nationally and internationally. From our research, we found that it costs about four times less for countries to outsource their services to Nigeria than to India.

There are about 23 banks in Nigeria with millions of customers, but the customer service sections of these banks only have the capacity to accommodate about one hundred people. This number is not enough to cater for the needs of millions of customers. This is the same thing with the telcos, one telco claims to have about 50 million subscribers, but it is unlikely that the same telco has more than 5,000 call centre executives.”

Apart from banking and telecommunications, outsourcing also plays a major role in local software development. According to the NAITEOC boss: “In 2015, both the public and private sectors of our country spent about one billion dollars on foreign software technology. A significant percentage of software in imported. Imagine what would happen if local software developers are given are chance. There are many companies in Nigeria that can compete effectively with imported software if given a chance.”

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