NEPC targets share of $150b outsourcing services
TO further boost the nation’s revenue drive, especially through the non-oil sector, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has unveiled a strategic initiative that will see the agency exporting professional services.
Indeed, the agency is targeting a chunk of the global business professional information technology outsourcing industry worth about $150 billion.
The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Olusegun Awolowo stressed the need for the diversification of export into the services sector, especially professional services sub-sector.
Awolowo, who was represented by the Director, Products Development department of the council, Henry Otowo, at an interactive meeting on the review of the implementation of the National Strategy for the export of professional services in Nigeria, said by 2050, 80 per cent of the workforce worldwide would be working in the services sector.
According to him, the NEPC formulated a strategy to develop the export of professional services in Nigeria, with an overreaching goal to contribute to the country’s long term objective to create wealth, generate employment generation and reduce poverty as enshrined in Nigeria’s National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy.
He noted that the services export sector, though not fully tapped in the country, is considered a very potent sector that can boost the non-oil export base of the national economy. “The growth of services exports presents a huge opportunity for Nigeria which needs to diversify its economy to increase economic growth and create more jobs.
This is more imperative now in the face of dwindling revenue from oil. It is noteworthy to mention that services sector accounted for about 51 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP after the rebasing of the economy in 2013.
Services export can contribute more to non-oil exports from its present contribution estimate of about 1.5 per cent”, he added. He explained the need to explore services export saying, “Trade in services has grown annually in importance in the world economy.
The global services’ share of world GDP grew from 53 per cent to 68 per cent between 1971 – 2004, with the contribution of services trade to global GDP currently to be about 70 per cent. “According to the World Trade Organisation, the services sector is the most rapidly growing segment of the world economy.
Services represent 66 per cent of world production, 66 per cent of world employment, nearly 50 per cent of world trade on value added basis and 60 per cent of foreign direct investment.”
Trade Adviser, Trade Competitiveness Division, Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC), Ms Estella Aryada, noted that the services sector has been ignored under the diversification agenda, adding that Nigeria needs to harness the opportunities in the sector for growth and improved earnings.
The services sector, the NEPC boss maintained, has witnessed rapid expansion over the years and growing importance across African countries. “The size and importance of services to the global economy is illustrated in the value of some services’ sectors such as education, with an estimated value of $30 billion in 2004, medical tourism $20 billion which is doubled in 2010.
Between 2012 – 2013, the services’ sector contributed 60 per cent to India’s GDP while it accounted for 70 per cent of New-Zealand’s GDP which was worth $150 billion”, he added.