UNGA 78: Nigeria Unveils NATEP, Targets One Million Jobs

The Federal Government has unveiled a talent export schemes tagged: “National Talent Export Programme (NATEP), meant to bridge the unemployment gap in the country.
Through NATEP, Nigeria is expected to create at least one million jobs over the next five years as a special purpose vehicle especially for the youths.
Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite stated this on Saturday during “Positioning Nigeria as a Global Talent Hub in New York” event, on the sidelines of 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
She said that the initiative is in line with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda to diversify the Nigerian economy, create sustainability opportunities and generate about 50 million jobs for the youths.
Experts had revealed that the global talent sourcing industry was valued at $620 billion as at 2020 and would likely rise to about $904 billion by 2027.
The minister described NATEP as a key national initiative that would serve as a special purpose vehicle to reposition Nigeria as a leading global hub for service export, talent sourcing and talent export.
She disclosed that the President’s renewed hope agenda would lead to diversifying the economy and creating sustainable employment opportunities especially for youths.
This, she said is in line with the theme of this year’s UNGA: “Rebuilding Trust and Igniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and The Sustainable Development Goals Towards Peace, Prosperity, Progress and Sustainability for All”
While addressing officials of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Microsoft group, the minister pointed out that NATEP would be dedicated to addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by the talent and service sector export industry.
Uzoka-Anite hinted that Nigeria has the ability to supply top talent for the global service export and outsourcing business, as over 1.7 million Nigerian graduates from higher institutions enter the workforce annually.
She noted that the programme would lay special emphasis on enhancing competitiveness, fostering innovation and driving sustainable growth through trade and services.
The minister was optimistic that Nigeria is ready to become a global hub for talent export, saying that the government would take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACfTA) to penetrate the huge market and target Greenfield and Brownfield job opportunities in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.
She listed the four pronged objectives of the NATEP initiative as to deliver one million service export jobs over the next five years; increase foreign exchange earnings and revenue for Nigeria; create economic growth and to stimulate the growth of ancillary industries and support services, as well as to improve skills and strengthen the Nigerian brand.
The Minister of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani said that the initiative is timely as Nigeria is gradually loosing out of the benefits countries like India enjoy.
“I think one thing we have not done well is actually to be intentional, around how we milk that opportunity for our own economic development. And this is why this programme is extremely important.
“I have been following the Nigerian story; we have been losing a lot of our top talents to the world. So, the implication is that we will be losing a significant proportion of people in that space of the academy.
“There is nothing we can do about it. The best we can ever do is to be intentional about it and turn it into exports and it’s going to become even deeper for us because this becomes a significant resource that we can tap into,’’ he added.
Tijani said that it is impossible for the government to stop Nigerians from migrating to other countries, adding that he was mandated by the President to train one million technical talent.
He was hopeful that the ministry could actually train more than one million but is restricted due to the absence of local tech economy to absorb the intending beneficiaries.
“The goal is actually to export, which is also something we have been doing. But in the process of exporting, we, must also be intentional about it. It is not just about exporting our people but getting value for the export.
“These people contribute and add value to the world, but they also bring value back to us as well. It is about meaningful exploitation of talent. I think that is where i want Nigeria to be,” he said.
The Managing Director of World Economic Forum (WEF) Dr Saadia Zahidi promised to support Nigeria’s effort in the new talent export programme.
Zahidi revealed that WEF in Nigeria has a long standing partnership in Nigeria and they are very happy to support the particular effort.
“The forum established some months ago, a skills accelerator in Nigeria and under the leadership of Her Excellency, the minister and others, we hope that we will be able to provide support to NATEP through the continuous rescaling and upskilling of the workforce that will be a part of this initiative, “she said.

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