An initiative to boost youth employment and shore up Nigeria’s foreign exchange (FX) earnings has been introduced by the Nigerian government.
The scheme, the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP), was unveiled over the weekend at the Microsoft Office in New York, United States of America by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Doris Uzoka-Anite.
She said the programme would position Nigeria as an export hub for talent outsourcing in Africa following the example of India, Bangladesh, Mexico and The Philippines.
Mrs Uzoka-Anite noted that NATEP is a key national initiative that will serve as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to position Nigeria as a leading global hub for service exports, talent sourcing and talent exports.
According to the Minister, it will also serve as a dedicated entity to address the unique needs and challenges faced by the talent and service export industry.
The programme will lay special emphasis on enhancing competitiveness, fostering innovation, and driving sustainable growth through trade in services.
She further noted that NATEP is part of the strategy towards achieving President Tinubu’s agenda for job creation, and will target the creation of 1 million in-demand jobs across Nigeria, over a 5-year period.
“This initiative will do three things for us as a country. One, it will create millions of jobs for our young people over the next 5 years and beyond.
“Secondly, it will bring in foreign exchange that our economy needs through remittances from talents that will be exported abroad and those that will be living in Nigeria and working remotely for organisations outside Nigeria and thirdly, it will generate huge tax income for the state governments,” the Minister said.
On her part, the Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, Mrs Saadia Zahidi, said NATEP is a timely initiative to address the very important areas of skills and jobs for Nigeria and the world.
She stated that the WEF looks forward to partnering with Nigeria on the programme.
“This is an important programme that is coming at the right time. We at WEF stand ready to work with the Nigerian government on this great initiative.”
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Mr Bosun Tijani, who praised her counterpart for spearheading the NATEP initiative, said his ministry would collaborate and support the programme to ensure it delivers on the set objectives.
He explained the importance of talents and in-demand workforce as critical parts of the global economic structure, saying such is the reason why leading countries across the world are intentional about attracting and retaining top talents.