ABUJA, February 17, 2012 - The World Bank, through the ACCESS Nigeria project, is to fund the training of about 1000 young Nigerian graduates in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Information Technology (IT) for the outsourcing Industry. They are currently being trained for 10 weeks across five cities: Abuja, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, and Lagos.
The training is to equip the graduates with the requisite employability and skills in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Information Technology (IT) for the service sectors of the economy.
ACCESS Nigeria has a focus on skills and jobs in the high-potential areas of ICTs and IT Enabled Services such as call centers and the outsourcing industry as a whole. The Bank notes that without the foundational skills, it is difficult for youth to break into the new job market.
"Skills gap is a hurdle in job creation. This fact came out strongly in a report the World Bank commissioned in 2009-10 on growth and employment in Nigeria. What the study showed comprehensively is that there is a strong potential for job creation in the ICT area and services area. But one of the hurdles to realizing the potential is the skills gap. This was a key driver behind the development of ACCESS Nigeria program," said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, the Country Director, World Bank Nigeria.
Nigeria’s ICT sector has experienced a growth that is second fastest after China in the world. Nigeria, which has more than 90 million mobile subscribers, has overtaken South Africa to become the largest mobile market in Africa. This growth is creating new types of jobs across industries.
ACCESS which is initially focusing on foundational skills is targeting jobs getting created in call centers, existing jobs across different sectors that require ICT skills. Without the foundational skills, it is difficult for youth to break into the new job market.
ACCESS seeks to develop the outsourcing industry in Nigeria to benefit from the outsourcing market which presently stands USD500 billion with a future projections estimate of UDS 1.65-1.80 trillion by 2020.
India occupies a lead position with more than 50% of the outsourcing market share and it is expected that Nigeria can position itself to take a share of this market.
The Access Nigeria project, a World Bank initiative is a capacity development program aimed at human capital development. This involves assessment, training and certification for job placement for graduate applicants.
In the next three months, the program is also embarking on industry engagement events to “promote an outsourcing orientation starting with onshore outsourcing and progressing through near-shore to offshore outsourcing” in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
Meanwhile there would be a press conference and public launch of the ACCESS Nigeria initiative Abuja Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at the Yar ‘Adua Centre, Abuja at 9.00am prompt.