Tunde Bodunrin

It is no longer news that Nigerian economy is going through tough challenges this period which have led to the increase in the level of unemployment and frustrations for both businesses and individuals. No thanks to the nation’s dwindling revenue as a result of the plummeting crude oil price at the international market and the seeming unending falling value of the nation’s currency.

But Mr Olusoji Oyawoye, the MD/CEO of Resource Intermediaries Ltd (RIL), believes the unemployment situation in the country could be ameliorated even in this difficult period if both the private and public sectors partner with outsourcing firms.

RIL is one of the leading outsourcing firms in the country that has carved a niche for itself within the outsourcing world and it has been in existence since 2006.

Oyawoye in a recent chat with journalist noted that areas of interests like manufacturing, Data Management, Customer Support, IT Support functions must be identified to ensure the smooth success of this partnership. He explained that the bulk of this responsibility lies not only on the outsourcing professionals but also on their ability to prove beyond reasonable doubt that outsourcing is a solution provider for unemployment.

“They will need to maintain accountability, ensure performance, guarantee results and adhere to public service values, while government will need to create an enabling environment for foreign and local investors”

He maintained that where there are lot of investors and, outsourcing partners are contracted, the cost of manufacturing and production will drop on the long run and this will make the product more available and at a cheaper rate in the market adding that this will encourage the unemployed to go into entrepreneurship as goods will be readily available and affordable.

Oyawoye, who is also the chairman of Policy & Strategy Committee of the Association of Outsourcing Professionals of Nigeria (AOPN), expressed optimism on the future of outsourcing in Nigeria. He stated tha Nigeria has a unique opportunity to achieve her full potential. “The time to strategize and align corporate strategy to leverage on new possibilities from the policies of the new government is now. Whichever way government policy direction heads, Nigeria is in dire need for economic growth through massively improved productive capacity and employment generation”

Enumerating the significances of outsourcing to any economy, the RIL CEO said that outsourcing helps build better business, stronger economies and a more prosperous way of life. He described outsourcing as no longer just about cost saving but a strategic tool that may power the twenty-first century economy; and Nigeria as an emerging market should not be passive in this global transformation.

“It can increase productivity and competitiveness in multiple folds as leaders can no longer afford to view outsourcing as a mere business tactic; it is now essential to remaining competitive on the world stage”

Commenting on how public sector outsourcing performance will be in the public interest, Oyawoye assured that public sector outsourcing will definitely provide more jobs for the citizens of Nigeria which can be monitored and beneficial to both the citizens and government.

Oyawoye while mentioning some of the countries that have successfully adopted public outsourcing to include the US, UK, Canada, India, Hong-Kong, Japan and Singapore, said it has worked to their benefit because services are better delivered and managed, though there are regulations and close monitoring from the government. “Outsourcing increased in the western world from 1970 to 2002, the U.S. economy boomed. It service jobs increased from 47 million to 107 million, and per capita income rose from $12,543 to $22,851”.

“The Nigerian public sector outsourcing has proved to be one sure way of improving public service delivery, increasing effectiveness and efficiency. This can be attributed to selection of vendors based essentially on quality of service to be supplied”

Though meeting outsourcing objectives depend on the extent to which recommendations are adhered to, Oyawoye advised that it should be considered above personal interest if it must work adding there must be regular monitoring and evaluation of vendors’ performance to ensure that the standard continues to improve, and performance criteria must be properly specified.

He also said there should be adequate and proper sensitization of some key public officers because they are key drivers of government outsourcing initiatives for achievement of objectives. They should be enlightened on the need for transparency and accountability in public service. There should also be continuous public enlightenment by the Bureau of Public Sector Reform through its publications on government reforms and outsourcing.