Business

Nigeria Launches Initiative to Capture Share of $8.79trn Global BPO Market

Vice President Kashim Shettima has launched the “Outsource to Nigeria Initiative” saying the initiative is strategic to redirecting the talents and skills that abound in the country with a target of capturing a significant portion of the global BPO market valued at $8.79 trillion.

He noted that apart from producing millions of job opportunities and spurring Nigeria’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT-enabled services sector into growth that has never been witnessed before, the OTNI will link global firms with the abundant talents and skills in Nigeria.

The Vice President who spoke on Monday during the launch of the OTNI in Gombe State noted that the spotlight is now beaming on Nigeria, following the nation’s “abundance of talent, a competitive cost structure, a rapidly improving ICT infrastructure, and a strategically advantageous location.”

Delivering his address titled, “Bringing the World to Our Doorsteps,” VP Shettima described his principal, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a visionary leader and “refined economic strategist” who has a firm grip on the distinction between the current situation in Nigeria and the route within the global landscape.

As such, he assured that the ongoing reforms being carried out by the Tinubu administration will soon guarantee a future where all Nigerians will be grateful for the “resilience and foresight displayed” in navigating the nation towards economic prosperity.

The Vice President who expressed confidence in the OTNI to turn around the economic fortunes of the country said, “Outsourcing, as an economic strategy, is not just about efficiency; it’s a profound recognition of our interconnectedness in the global economy. Outsourcing is also a strategy to counteract brain drain and channel our talents and skills into reconstructing a Nigeria that works.”

Noting that it’s time Nigeria recognized its potential, embraced and explored the markets that are yearning for the nation’s unique contributions, Senator Shettima pegged the global business process outsourcing (BPO) industry at 250 billion US dollars.

The VP continued: “The Outsource to Nigeria Initiative (OTNI) symbolizes a pivotal alliance, a collaborative dance between the public and private sectors. This is a mission to produce millions of job opportunities and propel Nigeria’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT-enabled services sector into unprecedented growth.

“OTNI is here to connect global companies with the abundant talents and capabilities inherent in Nigeria. This initiative marks a strategic leap forward, positioning Nigeria as an emerging outsourcing powerhouse ready to make an indelible mark on the global economic landscape.

“Today, we are not only presenting to you the Outsource to Nigeria Initiative (OTN) with the honourable aim of taking over the world. We present to you a lens to see the needs of the world, a bridge to interact with the world, and a vehicle to reach the world from the comfort of your offices and homes in Nigeria.”

Shettima implored Nigerians to be patient with the Tinubu administration in respect of the economic decisions taken so far, explaining that though it may present some temporary challenges, they are a strategic investment targeted at strengthening the fabric of the nation’s economy.

“The tough decisions we have taken may pose short-term challenges, but rest assured, it is a strategic investment to fortify the foundations of our economy. As your guarantee, I affirm that the reforms in progress will not only weather the storms but usher in a future where we shall stand grateful for the resilience and foresight displayed in propelling our nation towards economic prosperity,” he stated.

The Vice President further said Nigeria is on the verge of carving its own narrative within the global BPO landscape, as well as contributing to solidifying its role as a key player in the international business arena.

With “a colossal talent pool exceeding 200 million people and complemented by competitive labour costs, an evolving ICT infrastructure, unwavering government support, and a strategic location in proximity to European markets,” the VP said the aforementioned factors have positioned Nigeria “as a prime outsourcing destination.

On his part, Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, noted that the decision to launch the ‘Outsource To Nigeria Initiative (OTNI)’ in the state was not a mere coincidence, pointing out that it “is a testament to the State’s burgeoning potential and the exemplary strides we have made in fostering an enabling environment for technology innovation and economic growth.”

Governor Inuwa explained that the partnership with Outsource Global is an indication of the tangible support the state government is willing to provide to businesses that choose to invest in Gombe State.

“This strategic investment not only creates job opportunities but also signifies our proactive approach to providing the necessary infrastructure and resources to attract and support private investment,” he added.

For her part, the Founder/CEO of OTNI, Hajiya Amal Hassan, pegged the value of the Global BPO & ITES Market at USD 8.79 trillion US Dollars in 2024, with India and the Philippines dominating at least 60% of the market.

She noted that Nigeria boasts of “the highest potential among key African countries,” and is expected to register the fastest growth in the African BPO industry backed by various tailwinds,” even as the nation’s “demographics are well-suited to take advantage of the current global trend in global business.”

She explained that the initiative will be accomplished through streamlined processes, using OTNI’s “digital platform WorkNation to help partners find, train, and deploy talents according to their requirements.

“Our goal is to showcase Nigeria as the preferred outsourcing destination, connecting Nigerian youth to global job opportunities, attracting investments, empowering youth, and boosting the economy through business process outsourcing and IT services,” she added.

Also, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Office and Coordination, Dr. Usman Mohammed, said the Outsource Initiative, with the Office of the Vice President as the anchor, is a game changer for Nigeria which has come to stay and flourish in the country.

He pointed out that “by harnessing the power of the private sector and leveraging government support”, the government is “laying the foundation for economic growth.”

Describing the launch of the initiative as a transformation that promises prosperity for millions of young Nigerians, he said, “I stand before you sir with pride and gratitude as we embark on this collaborative effort between the Office of the Vice President and Outsource Global. Together we are ushering in a new era of economic empowerment and opportunity for our nation in alignment with the Renewed Hope Agenda set forth by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

Highpoint of the launch of the OTNI was the commissioning and inspection of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Centre by Vice President Shettima.

The BPO Centre, the first in the North East geopolitical zone, is expected to provide over 2,000 job opportunities to the youth population of Gombe State and even beyond.

The Gombe BPO Centre located at the Amina Mohammed Skills Acquisition Centre along the Gombe- Biu Bypass, makes the state a hub for outsourcing services, leveraging the skills and potential of its youths.

Other dignitaries who attended the event included Jigawa State Governor, Mallam Umar Namadi; the Deputy Governor of Borno and Gombe States; Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris; the Emirs of Gombe and Funakaye, as well as Secretary to Gombe State Government, Prof Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, among others.

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