ABUJA, NIGERIA — Stakeholders in Nigeria’s outsourcing sector believe that the shortage of skilled professionals continues to hinder the expansion of the industry.
Operators claimed the lack of qualified personnel has become a major roadblock, even as demand rises for expertise in artificial intelligence and technical roles.
In an interview with THE PUNCH, the former President of the Association of Outsourcing Professionals in Nigeria, Obiora Madu, said, “The real outsourcing, which is internet-enabled services, is not growing much in Nigeria. What we have here is mostly human resource outsourcing.
He acknowledged that infrastructure problems persist, although Nigeria’s internet connectivity fares better than many African countries.
Madu stressed the need for capacity building, noting that India became the world’s outsourcing hub despite facing more disadvantages than Nigeria currently does.
He stated that the country needs to have more skilled people, adding that the local outsourcing industry “is not even developed, not to mention offshoring, which is actually where the money is.”
Madu also cited unfair recruitment practices and worker exploitation as issues confronting the industry, worsening Nigeria’s competitive position globally.
In a separate interview last year, Madu stated that outsourcing could be a powerful strategy to address the country’s unemployment challenges.
The government is taking steps to harness outsourcing opportunities, including improving the business climate and bilateral agreements, officials noted.
Last year, the Nigerian government launched its National Outsourcing Strategy (NOS), which contains the country’s plans to position itself as a leading global outsourcing destination.