The Federal Government has launched the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP), an initiative targeted at creating a pool of talent that will make the country a force in the global talent-sourcing industry valued at $620 billion.
The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, presided over the official launch of the initiative as part of the sideline activities of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The initiative, which is backed by Microsoft, is part of the government’s agenda of creating 1 million jobs through technical skills training.
The minister explained that the four-pronged objectives of the NATEP initiative are to deliver one million service export jobs over the next five years; to increase foreign exchange earnings and revenue for Nigeria; to create economic growth and stimulate the growth of ancillary industries and support services; and to improve skills and strengthen the Nigerian brand.
Describing the initiative as a special-purpose vehicle to position Nigeria as a leading global hub for service exports, talent sourcing, and talent exports, the Minister said:
- “As part of our strategy towards achieving this, His Excellency President Bala Tinubu, whose agenda is job creation, has initiated a national talent export program for Nigeria, which targets the creation of 1 million jobs across Nigeria over five years.
- NATEP will serve as a dedicated entity to address the unique needs and challenges faced by talent and the service export industry.
- The program will lay special emphasis on enhancing competitiveness, fostering innovation, and driving sustainable growth through trade and services.”
While observing that the global talent-sourcing industry was valued at $620 billion in 2020 and is projected to be valued at $904 billion by 2027, Anite stated that 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 talents for the global service export and outsourcing industry.
- “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.
- We will take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to access the African market.
- “As it seeks to achieve these objectives, NATEP will ride on some strategic advantages of the Nigerian market that position us as a service export and sourcing destination of choice,” she said.
The Minister added that NATEP will focus on nurturing the Nigerian service outsourcing industry’s large pool of talented and skilled professionals to ensure that clients have access to a skilled and adaptable workforce that can meet their diverse business needs.
Also speaking during the launch, the Minister of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, described the initiative as extremely timely.
- “We have been losing our top talents to the United Kingdom. We cannot stop people from moving. I have the mandate to train 10,000 top talents. It’s about meaningful exportation for meaningful value.”
- “In the global economic structure, there’s a major part that we don’t talk about enough, which is the workforce or talent. You may have the best intentions, resources, and plans. But if you don’t have the workforce to execute it, you won’t be able to accomplish much.
- And this is how the world is structured. This is why, when we talk about immigration, countries don’t talk enough about intentional immigration and how they encourage the top talents in the world to come to their countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Saadia Zahidu, at the event expressed the hope that the forum 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.