President Bola Tinubu has launched the National Talent Export Programme to shore up Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and create one million in-demand jobs nationwide for five years.
Tinubu who was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, launched the initiative on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Sunday titled ‘FG unveils national talent export programme to boost youth employment.’
“The new initiative seeks to position Nigeria as an export hub for talent outsourcing in Africa following the example of India, Bangladesh, Mexico and The Philippines,” the statement read in part.
In her welcome address on the President’s behalf, Dr. Uzoka-Anite noted that the National Talent Export Programme is a key national initiative that will serve as a Special Purpose Vehicle to position Nigeria as a leading global hub for service exports, talent sourcing and talent exports.
She reasoned that NATEP will 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 said.
The minister further revealed that NATEP will target the creation of one million in-demand jobs across Nigeria, over 5 years.
“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.
“Second, 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 state governments,” the minister said.
In her goodwill message, the Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, Saadia Zahidi, said NATEP was a timely initiative to address the very important areas of skills and jobs for Nigeria and the world.
“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,” said Zahidi.
On his part, the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, who praised his counterpart for spearheading the NATEP initiative, said his ministry would collaborate and support the programme to ensure it delivers on the set objectives.
A panel discussion that took place during the event was moderated by the National Coordinator of NATEP, with Amal Hassan, Ola Williams and Adaora Ikenze serving as panellists.
The event ended with the unveiling of the NATEP logo with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment indicating to the world that Nigeria is ready to become a global hub for talent exports.
Present were the Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, Saadia Zahidi; Chairman, US-Nigeria Business Council, Mr. John G. Coumantaros; President and Chief Executive, Corporate Council on Africa, Dr. Floriezelle Liser; Chief Executive, Outsource Global, Amal Hassan; Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Abdullahi; Meta Head of Public Policy for West and Central Africa, Adaora Ikenze; Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria and Ghana, Ola Williams who joined online, Chief Executive, TechDev, Joel Ogunsola and the National Coordinator of the programme, Dr. Femi Adeluyi.
Also present were Representative of the International Telecommunication Union at the United Nations, Ursula Wynhoven; Chief Executive of Ministry of Finance Incorporated, Dr. Armstrong Takang, Director, Sub Saharan Africa – Government Affairs & Public Policy, Google, Mr. Charles Murito; Senior Business Development Manager, Amazon AWS, Mr. Charles Okochu and AfCFTA Digital Trade Expert, Michelle Nsanzumuco.