• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Nigeria needs legal framework, infrastructure to become the next outsourcing hub – AOPN

Obiora Madu

The Association of Outsourcing Professionals of Nigeria (AOPN) has said that Nigeria has the capacity to become the next outsourcing hub if the government provides the needed legal framework and infrastructure for the industry.

The experts who spoke at the APON 2019 outsourcing expo recently in Lagos said that both the government and professionals have their various roles to play in making the country the next outsourcing hub.

“We have everything it takes to be the next hub. The population and we are an English speaking country but we need the legal framework to guide policies, we need infrastructures and more awareness to achieve this,” Obiora Madu, president of AOPN said.

“So many countries are withdrawing their call centres from Indian and the next destination is Africa with Nigeria popping up first but we need to create the environment for it,” Madu said.

He stated that the global outsourcing industry is worth $85.6 billion in 2018 and projected to reach $343 billion in 2025.

He said that professionals must be innovative to take advantage of the opportunities created by the industry while calling for quality education in the country to equip the youth population with the right skills.

“A lot of Nigerians do not know what outsourcing is and the opportunities therein. They think contracting is outsourcing,” he added.

The experts also expressed concerns that growing automation and Artificial Intelligence will lead to job losses, while advising professionals to be innovative to remain relevant in the future workplace.

“We need to understand that change consistently happens and we need to respond appropriately to it,” Victor Adebayo, group head- human resources, Fareast Mercantile Co. Limited said.

“The changing business landscape necessitated that outsourcing professionals understand that it is no longer just about people outsourcing but business processes outsourcing,” Adebayo said.

He said artificial intelligence, robotics and other forms of smart automation are major disruptions that will impact employment landscape and outsourcing professionals need to get prepared for it.

In his keynote address, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria said that ordinarily Nigeria should be an attractive hub for outsourcing, noting that a few factors are in its favour with many more negative thereby limiting full exploitation of this great opportunity that has helped many countries in Asia and other parts of the world.

Ohuabunwa said that despite countries like Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco, Kenya and Ghana ranked among the top 50 global outsourcing countries, Nigeria is lacking on the list.

“While the cost of labour in Nigeria is low compared to its global counterparts, the corporate tax in Nigeria (30%) is consistently beyond the global and Africa average (28.8%). Multiple taxation and other factors that raise cost of business seem to diminish Nigeria’s financial attractiveness,” he said.

 

Josephine Okojie