The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has said Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) could create over a million jobs and shore up Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) base by 10 per cent, if strategically harnessed.
Shittu said renewed efforts have been made by the federal government at re-establishing an enabling environment with a level playing field for business activities to thrive.
He spoke at the annual conference of Association of Outsourcing Professionals of Nigeria (AOPN) in Lagos, with the theme “Setting Global Standard for Outsourcing in Nigeria.”
He noted that the implementation of the ministry’s collaboration with South Korea on adoption of e-governance would not only strengthen BPO, but also align the country with international standards.
“I challenge organisations and foreign collaborators, that is, the world BPO forum, to work out a strategic plan and all necessary requirements for the team-up and sustainable development of the BPO sector, including the role of government and submission of proposals to the ministry for consideration.
“I reiterate government’s support, political will and determination to implement your recommendations for the opening up and flourishing of BPO industry in Nigeria,” he said.
The AOPN president, Austin Nweze, urged the Nigerian government to tap into the sector by constituting strong institutions for good structures, regulation of operators, compliance with standards and provision of critical infrastructure.
According to him, the association has established a portal to spot quackery and evaluate members’ activities and also built a charter as a benchmark for standard compliance.
“What we are trying to do is to make Nigeria an outsourcing hub. India has really maxed; the next frontier is Africa. So we are lagging behind, Ghana is ahead of us. We need to do the things according to global standards. We need to make sure of internal housekeeping functions to be able to serve external.
“We need to build capacity of the practitioners and also make sure processes are right and set structures in place for standard. We have a portal where companies can submit bad eggs and publish. When recruiting, you can check the person to know the standard and where the person stands,” he said.
Nweze added that AOPN needs to have its charter to function effectively as well as infrastrcutre to reduce cost of doing business.
He also called on the Nigeri Investment promotion Coumcil to improve the business climate with efficient services.
Guest speaker at the conference, GMD Custodian & Allied Plc, Mr. Wole Oshin, said Nigeria was endowed with resources to become a top 20 off-shoring hub, provided there is congruence between the industry and government.
He urged government to take economic and political risk, ensure consistency of policies, ameliorate the business climate with minimal political interference and prioritise quality education.