Expert Foresees Demand Surge for Project Managers in 2017

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As the federal government makes a deliberate effort to diversify the economy away from crude oil following the slump in global oil prices, demand for project managers, who will drive the government’s renewed focus on the non-oil sectors of the economy is likely to increase.

This was the view of Ericsson Nigeria Director of Consulting and Systems Integration Programmes, Oluwatosin Agbetusin.

Agbetusin, the first programme management professional in Nigeria to bag a Programme Management (PgMP) certification from the renowned Project Management Institute in the United States, observed that an increasingly diversified portfolio had created a many projects ranging from infrastructure to mining, leading to more demand for project talents.

He said the project management profession has become popular over the past five years, such that a huge number of professionals are switching careers to join the field.

“More projects in the pipeline mean more hiring of project talent,” he said.
According to Agbetusin, whose outlook for project management in Nigeria was featured in the January edition of PM Network, a monthly magazine offering insights from the profession’s most experienced leaders globally, there are currently more project management jobs available than experienced professionals to fill them.

“I see 2017 bringing more push for additional project management skills and certifications. Beyond the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential, I expect more organisations in Nigeria will seek out practitioners with specific skills and certifications in risk scheduling, agile, programme management and portfolio management,” he said.

The National Bureau of Statistics forecasts that the federal government’s renewed spend on projects and cuts on wasteful spending will spark an annual average of 5.4 per cent expansion between 2017 and 2020. Agbetusin aligned with this policy direction, which he said, would have a ripple effect on demand for the skills that project managers bring to the table.

“As the profession matures in Nigeria so do the expectations of hiring managers, project management skills and credentials that might have been viewed as a bonus a decade ago are now listed in job adverts as mandatory requirements. Risk management skills are more apt to be discussed now than in the past, when attention was largely limited to schedule and cost control,” he noted.