Over 200 Staff Lose Jobs As Microsoft Shuts Down Centre In Nigeria

IN a significant setback to Nigeria’s burgeoning tech industry, reports suggest that Microsoft is considering the closure of its African Development Centre based in Lagos.

This move, if confirmed, would have profound implications for the country’s technological landscape, potentially impacting job opportunities and innovation in the sector.

According to industry insiders who spoke to The Guardian newspaper on Tuesday, Microsoft notified over 200 staff on Monday of the closure plans.

According to reports from the newspaper, affected employees are slated to receive salary payments up until June and will continue to be covered by health insurance.

However, an unnamed source within Microsoft’s Lagos office neither confirmed nor refuted the closure when approached by the newspaper.

While the precise motives behind the decision remain ambiguous, sources suggest Nigeria’s challenging economic conditions likely played a role.

The closure appears to affect only the ADC’s West Africa operations in Nigeria, not its East Africa facility in Nairobi, Kenya.

Microsoft launched its $100 million African Development Centers initiative in 2019, establishing facilities in both Lagos and Nairobi.

The Nigeria centre employed over 120 engineers upon launch in 2022, growing to more than 200 total staff members.

At the time, Gafar Lawal, Managing Director of Microsoft ADC West Africa, said as quoted by The Guardian, “We intended to recruit 500 full-time engineers by the end of the year or by 2023. However, currently, we have exceeded 500. This is to tell you about the abundance of talents we have in Africa.”

The Lagos Centre was inaugurated to develop innovative technology solutions to address challenges across Africa and globally.

A Microsoft statement stated, “This also creates opportunities for engineers to do meaningful work from their home countries and be plugged into a global engineering and development organisation.”

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