The idea of a partnership between the Federal Government and technology companies to develop an eco-system of competent Nigerians working in the service sector and even outsourcing their expertise abroad is a welcome development and a step in the right direction in job creation.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, stated this during a virtual courtesy call from Huawei Nigeria, led by its new CEO, Trevor Liu on Thursday. According to the Vice President, “I think that Huawei and the Federal Government should work as partners, not just a business relationship, but a relationship that also takes employment into account, especially with our young population.” Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo said, “we need to develop an ecosystem of competent Nigerians who can work locally and get international jobs as well, a business-outsourcing-type arrangement.”
He acknowledged the work Huawei had done in the past with training of Nigerians but reiterated the need for employment opportunities that go beyond the capacity building. Prof Osinbajo explained that “every other technology company does training programmes, but that is not what I am looking for. I am looking at something that shows Huawei wants to be a partner with Nigeria, working together as a corporate organization that sees itself as a part of Nigeria’s future. There are loads of people who have done training but have no work” He further went on to say “I want us to do something groundbreaking and different.”
“Let’s see something that gives young people more than training, gives them some opportunity as well because this ecosystem will require a lot of people who see Huawei not just as a business but a brand that’s interested in them going forward” Responding, the CEO of Huawei Nigeria, Trevor Liu, said that the strategy of the company is indeed to focus on investing in young people in every country in which they operate, adding that the company has invested in a lot of young people in Nigeria but would also like to do more. He assured the Federal Government that Huawei would invest more resources in young people and give a progress update, adding that it’s the plan of the company to position Nigeria as a technology centre for the continent. Also present at the meeting were Otunba Lanre Odekunle, Deputy Managing Director of Huawei and Michael Zhuang, the General Manager of Huawei in Nigeria.