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Thursday, April 16, 2015

How Gen. Buhari Can Create 2 Million Jobs from BPO


Nigerian Job Applicants


Unemployment is a huge problem in Nigeria, the last uncontroversial rate from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for 2011 shows 23.9% of the population is unemployed. However, unemployment amongst the youth is much higher.

This dire situation makes it imperative for government and citizens to seek viable solutions to this problem. This article is my contribution in this regard and it focuses on Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) as a means towards generating employment in Nigeria.

According to Wikipedia, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is a subset of outsourcing that involves the contracting of the operations and responsibilities of a specific business process to a third-party service provider.

Statista estimates that the global market size of business process outsourcing in 2014 amounted to 28.5 billion U.S. dollars.

This business has huge potential for creating hundreds of thousands to millions of jobs in Nigeria if the government implements the appropriate policies and enters into partnership with the private sector including foreign investors to create tech hubs.

The kinds of jobs that would be created include: call center agents, data entry officers and analysts. Nigeria's Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector has grown astronomically since the introduction of GSM in 2001 and the country now has 100% telephone penetration according to the National Communications Commission (NCC) meaning that virtually every Nigerian has access to a phone and as technology advances; the skill set of users keeps improving including many educated but unemployed youths.

By creating tech hubs that benefit from tax breaks and stable electricity supply from off-grid Independent Power Plants {IPPs), the government can easily create jobs to reduce the alarming rate of unemployment in Nigeria. If each tech hub has at least 1,000 workstations, employees could work 6-hour shifts meaning one workstation can accommodate 4 employees in a day.

100 tech hubs could be open across the country with Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Enugu, Onitsha Owerri, Abuja, Kano, Kaduna and Jos hosting them in the first phase. This could be expanded to ensure that there is at least 1 tech hub in every state of the federation within a year.

Training would be done to bring job applicants to the standard required to do these jobs. With 4,000 jobs created at every tech hub multiplied by 100, we have 400,000 direct jobs created with about 100,000 related jobs to be created as well from the process of building, maintaining and sustaining the tech hubs. This is an estimate for just the first year, in 4 years, 2 million jobs could be created as the industry expands and services are provided to foreign companies.  

This idea is viable and feasible as countries like India and The Philippines have benefitted from BPO, I hope the in-coming government of General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.) will work towards implementing or at least modifying it as it seeks to deliver new jobs to the unemployed which is one of its key campaign promises to Nigerians. 

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