FG Launches NATEP to Tap into $620 Billion Talent-Sourcing Industry.
The Federal Government has taken a significant step towards making Nigeria a prominent player in the global talent-sourcing industry, which is currently valued at an astonishing $620 billion. This move comes in the form of the National Talent Export Programme, or NATEP, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at creating a robust talent pool that will position the country as a force to be reckoned with in this lucrative sector.
The official launch of NATEP was presided over by Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, during the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Backed by tech giant Microsoft, NATEP aligns with the government’s ambitious agenda of generating one million jobs through technical skills training.
Dr. Uzoka-Anite outlined the four core objectives of NATEP:
- 1 Million Service Export Jobs: Over the next five years, NATEP aims to deliver one million service export jobs, a substantial step towards addressing unemployment in Nigeria.
- Increased Foreign Exchange Earnings: The program seeks to boost foreign exchange earnings and revenue for Nigeria, thereby contributing to the country’s economic stability.
- Stimulating Economic Growth: NATEP aspires to create economic growth and foster the development of ancillary industries and support services, catalyzing a ripple effect throughout the economy.
- Skill Enhancement and Brand Strengthening: Lastly, the initiative aims to improve skills and bolster the Nigerian brand on the global stage.
In her address, Dr. Uzoka-Anite described NATEP as a “special-purpose vehicle” designed to position Nigeria as a leading global hub for service exports, talent sourcing, and talent exports. She highlighted President Bala Tinubu’s commitment to job creation and emphasized NATEP’s role in addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by the talent and service export industry.
The minister underscored the immense potential of Nigeria, with its youthful population and over 1.7 million graduates entering the workforce annually, to supply high-quality talent to the global service export and outsourcing industry. In 2020, this industry was already valued at $620 billion, with projections reaching $904 billion by 2027.
“As a country,” Dr. Uzoka-Anite stated, “we have a significant value proposition for regional and global markets for the export of services.” NATEP aims to leverage these advantages by targeting job opportunities in various regions, including the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, and by capitalizing on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to access the African market.
Furthermore, NATEP will concentrate on nurturing Nigeria’s service outsourcing industry, cultivating a pool of talented and skilled professionals capable of meeting diverse business needs for clients worldwide.
Dr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy, emphasized the timely nature of NATEP. He highlighted the importance of retaining top talents within the country and the mandate to train 10,000 such talents, stressing the significance of meaningful talent exportation for meaningful value.
In the global economic landscape, workforce and talent play a pivotal role, and Dr. Tijani underlined the need for countries to actively encourage top talents from around the world to contribute to their growth and development.
Lastly, Saadia Zahidu, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum (WEF), expressed hope for the forum’s support of NATEP through continuous reskilling and upskilling of the workforce involved in this groundbreaking initiative.
The launch of NATEP marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s journey towards becoming a global talent-sourcing powerhouse, with the potential to tap into the immense opportunities presented by the service export industry.
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