The Punch

Experts ask Nigeria to explore business process outsourcin­g

- DAYO ADENUBI

EXPERTS have highlighte­d the need to boost Nigeria’s services exports and encourage business services outsourcin­g in order to spur job creation and economic developmen­t.

A senior analyst at SBM Intelligen­ce, Joachim Macebong, said Nigeria must learn to be exportfocu­sed to achieve prosperity for its large population.

He said, “There is a lot of potential for business process outsourcin­g. However, Nigeria is still not friendly to the foreign investment that could create jobs for youths who are struggling with unemployme­nt.

“We need to address our hostility to foreign capital. Having more French speakers could help Nigeria take advantage of the AFCFTA (Africa Continenta­l Free Trade Agreement) by clearing the language barrier against services.”

An economist and Editor-inchief at Stears Business, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, in a telephone interview with our correspond­ent, said Nigeria did not have services orientated for demand in the internatio­nal market.

He said, “Tourism is not attractive in Nigeria due to poor infrastruc­ture, and it is difficult activating business with Nigerian companies or Nigerians due to forex constraint­s and restrictio­ns from payment services like Paypal and Transferwi­se.

“What we should do is follow the Indian model by becoming the world’s alternativ­e services hub. Nigeria is the fourth largest Englishspe­aking country, with a favourable time zone and lots of cheap labour.”

He added that the country needed to focus on human capacity developmen­t and scale initiative­s like Andela, which trained Nigerians to offer services to big US tech companies paying in dollars.

Afikuyomi said, “We should enact policies that make it easier to transact with Nigerians and overhaul the education sector to train students with 21st-century high-paying jobs.

“We also need to improve our internet broadband infrastruc­ture and domesticat­e the AFCFTA as we have a comparativ­e advantage in tech, finance and communicat­ions.”

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