Nigeria BPO, untapped goldmine, say NITDA, ISPON
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
A well developed business process outsourcing (BPO) industry would have taken care of the youth unemployment ravaging the country and become another money-spinner for the economy, the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) have said.
According to the two IT bodies, if the country does what is right, onshore BPO could reduce wasteful spending in government while offshore BPO would create millions of jobs in-country.
Speaking in separate interviews with Dr Ashiru Daura, director, Outsourcing, NITDA, and Dr Chris Uwajie, president, ISPON, argue that if the government gets it right, Nigerians will have no need to go abroad in search of the golden fleece.
“The global trend is BPO and it is a reality that Nigeria by virtue of the language and position in Africa, we can tap enormously from it if we do what is necessary. The market is big and the future is bright.
“BPO can contribute billions of naira to the growth of the economy. India makes more money from BPO than what Nigeria makes in oil. You can imagine how much we can make from BPO (if well harnessed) because we have some advantages over India,” he said at the second stakeholders meeting to ratify the constitution of Nigerian Association of Information Technology Enabled Outsourcing Companies (NAITEOC), an arm of NITDA which took place in Lagos recently.
Uwajie says infrastructure challenge remains a stumbling block. “The challenges are more or less of the infrastructure; outsourcing is really facility management. It is core layer of skills; how do you manage the broadband connectivity, the security, the intellectual property. Outsourcing controls the intellectual property that resides within that environment; how do you manage it against theft from the internet servers? There are also challenges of opportunities, because you will not start outsourcing until there is power. That will be a misnomer. It is a knowledge economy and we must be there, especially now we have 110 million mobile phone carriers. We are in mobile economy and have to be deep in outsourcing. There are various businesses coming from all over the world looking for outsourcing that will help them move on,” he said.