Artificial intelligence may make Nigeria’s workforce redundant, experts warn

The Chief Executive Officer of a business school in the Netherlands, Lere Baale, has warned that the advent of artificial intelligence may render Nigeria’s workforce redundant.

He advised that governments at all levels must ensure that they retrain and retool the workers so that they do not fall victim of technology advancement.

The human resource expert spoke at the 5th annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) in Abeokuta.

Baale who spoke on “Digital Disruption and the Future of Work,” explained that it is the duty of human beings in the 21st century to learn how to use tools which were brought forward by artificial intelligence to ease and fasten the job done by human beings.

He said, “artificial intelligence will lead to redundancy on the part of workers who are old alongside the old system, so, what government needed to do is to retool and retrain them in the area where they will be required particularly in the area of technology and digital transformation.

“There is a large number of people needed in those areas, so, if your skill is analogue, then, you have to develop a digital skill in order to fit into the present technological advancement.

“More people now learn to use caterpillars on their farms and that is what artificial intelligence will do, it will change the way people do things, it is then our job to learn how to use those tools. That artificial intelligence is bringing forward, we do not need to sack people instead, we should retool them, improve their knowledge so that they can become better at what they do.”

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Corroborating Baale’s position, the President of CIPM, Nwankwo Edith, enjoined human resource personnel to navigate through the emerging technological disruption with the view to better the lots of their businesses.

“Disruption presents as many opportunities as it does challenges. Now is the time for human resource professionals to shape the future of their industry and play a significant role in the direction of their organisation.

“Whether we like it or not, technology is going to be with us and impact us on a scale and magnitude that most of us never imagined as we have entered an era of digital disruptive change in the world of human resources.

“This rapidly changing business environment puts direct pressure on human resources to help organisations navigate through these disruptions efficiently.

“The human resources professionals in the age of disruption cannot do business as usual, they need to play a new role with emerging skills and tools and get on a learning journey.

“It is essential that they invest in their own learning and development, and get as much knowledge as they can hold, to help and still add value in their organisations in the digital age.”

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