The Nigerian government has launched a national talent export programme tagged the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP).
The program is designed to create at least, one million jobs over the next five years as a special purpose vehicle.
Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, announced this on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), at an event tagged “Positioning Nigeria as a Global Talent Hub in New York, United States.
According to her, the initiative was in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s agenda to diversify the Nigerian economy, create sustainability opportunities, and generate about 50 million jobs for the youths.
“NATEP is a key national initiative that will serve as a special purpose vehicle to position Nigeria as a leading global hub for service export, talent sourcing and talent export.
“As part of our strategy towards achieving this, his excellency President Bola Tinubu whose agenda for job creation, we have initiated a national talent export programme for Nigeria, which targets the creation of 1 million jobs across Nigeria over five years. NATEP is a key national initiative that will serve as a special-purpose vehicle to position Nigeria as a leading global hub for service exports, talent sourcing and talent export.
“The Nigerian government under the leadership of President Bala Tinubu as part of the renewed hope agenda is committed to diversifying the economy and creating sustainable employment opportunities, especially for youth by creating 50 million jobs. This is in tandem with the theme of this year’s UNGA, rebuilding trust and igniting global solidarity, accelerating action on the 2030 agenda and the sustainable development goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all,” Uzoka-Anite added.
According to her, NATEP will be dedicated to addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by the talent and service sector export industry, emphasizing on enhancing competitiveness, fostering innovation, and driving sustainable growth through trade in services.
Available data indicates that the global talent sourcing industry is valued at $620 billion as of 2020 and it is forecasted to be valued at about $904 billion by 2027.
According to Dr Uzoka-Anite, Nigeria can supply top talent for the global service export and outsourcing business, with over 1.7 million graduates from higher education institutions entering the workforce annually.
“NATEP will serve as a dedicated entity to address the unique needs and challenges faced by the talents and service export industry. The programme will lay special emphasis on enhancing competitiveness, fostering innovation and driving sustainable growth through trade and services. It is noteworthy that the global talent sourcing industry was valued at $620 billion in 2020 and is forecasted to be valued at $904 billion by 2027. With a youthful population and over 1.7 million graduates from higher educational institutions joining the workforce each year, Nigeria has the potential to provide high-quality talent for the Global Service export and outsourcing industry.”
While stating that Nigeria is ready to become a global hub for talent export, Uzoka-Anite said that the government will take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACfTA) to penetrate the continent’s huge market and target job opportunities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, among others.
“As a country, we have a significant value proposition for regional and global markets for the export of services. We will actively target Greenfield and brownfield job opportunities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, among others.
Uzoka-Anite concluded by saying “To put it succinctly, the message from today’s launch of the national talent export programme is clear. Nigeria is ready to become a global hub for talent experts. We have the vision and commitment and we seek your partnership and trust as we embark on this mutually beneficial journey. We look forward to partnering with you.”
In his remarks, the Minister of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, while welcoming the initiative, noted that it was extremely timely as Nigeria was losing out of the benefits countries like India enjoy.
“I think one thing we’ve not done well, is actually to be intentional, around how we milk that opportunity for our economic development. And this is why this program is extremely important.
“I’ve been following the Nigerian story, we’ve been losing a lot of our top talents to the world. Canada is soaking in a lot, and the UK as well. I think the UK last week or so announced that if you’ve never taught physics, but you’ve studied physics, you can now come into the UK to teach and they’ll give you £10,000 to come in.
“So the implication of that is that we’re going to be losing a significant proportion of people in that space of the academy.
Managing Director of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Dr Saadia Zahidi, who also spoke at the event, promised to support Nigeria’s effort in the new talent export programme.
According to Zahidi, “The World Economic Forum in Nigeria has a long-standing partnership and we are very happy to support this particular effort. The forum established some months ago, a skills accelerator in Nigeria and under the leadership of Her Excellency, the minister and others, we hope that we will be able to provide support to NATEP through the continuous rescaling and upskilling of the workforce that will be a part of this initiative.
The official launch of NATEP also featured a panel discussion moderated by the CEO of Outsource Global, Amal Hassan,
It also featured the Head of Policy for West and Central Africa for Meta, Adaora Ikenza, and Country Representative for Microsoft Nigeria, Dr Ola Williams.