In the second quarter of 2018, youth unemployment peaked at 38% in Nigeria. Although there are no recent statistics, experts in the labour sector say the figure has surged year-on-year.
Now with the worldwide reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation has become direr as various sectors of the economy and industries stand greatly threatened including the financial and technology industry in Nigeria.
Recently, companies like Andela, a software engineering talent company, laid off 135 of its staff across four locations in Africa including Nigeria. The Vanguard Nigeria reports that some financial institutions and commercial banks have had to also take measures like salary cuts to thwart mass layoffs.
Another financial institution, Ren Money, recently laid off about 391 sales agents, claiming that new technology was being introduced to change the company’s mode of operation. In their place, an app was introduced to take up assignments the field sales agent would usually do.
Hiring in the time of Corona
There does, however, seem to be light at the end of the tunnel because, despite the massive strain of the worldwide pandemic, futuristic IT companies say they can still hire at an unending pace.
For instance, multinational IT support and professional services company, Tek Experts, recently said that it had no intention of laying off any staff because it had already been aligning itself with the future of work. Foreseeing important changes in the work sector.
With operations in seven countries, including Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Vietnam, USA and Rwanda, the company said its target is to be a major employer of labour and harbinger of a new digital dispensation.
Tek Experts provides technical support and professional services for some of the world’s largest IT companies. The company has over 7,000 employees across seven global offices but says it desires to increase staff strength because with more people working from home during this period, tech support, the service it provides, has never been more sought after.
Country Manager for Tek Experts Nigeria, Lars Johannisson says that the company’s growth is unprecedented and unlike any other in today’s Nigerian tech industry. “We are growing at an exponential rate and this comes on the heels of the need to grow our operations to meet the teeming demands of our global IT clients.”
“Nigeria has a wealth of amazing young talent and we are truly passionate about identifying those talented individuals, training a huge number of them to be IT experts so they can compete successfully in the future of work. We also have a unique opportunity to reduce the unemployment rate of youths in the country.”
The company began its operations in Nigeria in 2018, promising to employ 300 staff by the end of the first year, and another 2000 by the end of the second year. Though not yet reaching that promise, Tek Experts says it has employed 1,350 staff and still plans to employ 2,000 people by the end of 2020.
Diversity and Inclusion
Johannison also told Hi-Tech that Tek Experts is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion not just in Nigeria but in the global IT industry.
The company’s CEO, Naama Saar says, “At Tek Experts, we are deeply passionate about inclusion and diversity in the workplace and we’ve worked tirelessly to ensure we are a reflection of what we preach. We have implemented recruitment policies to achieve gender balance. So, we not only talk the talk; we also walk the walk. Our global leadership team is almost entirely composed of women who have proven through their amazing track record in the industry that they deserve a seat at the table.”