Over 200 workers to lose their jobs as Microsoft shuts down innovation centre in Nigeria

There are indications that Microsoft African Development Centre (ADC) may shut down its West Africa operation, located in Lagos, Nigeria.

According to a report from The Guardian sources revealed that the management of Microsoft had on Monday informed the staff of the sudden development.

A source within Microsoft Lagos office neither confirmed nor denied the development when reached out to yesterday.

“I cannot say anything on that for now. Thank you,” the source stated.

It was gathered that the affected might be paid their salaries till June and their HMOS. While the immediate cause of the shutting down of the ADC remains sketchy, industry sources claimed it might be due to the current economic situation in the country. The industry source, however, said that ADC in East Africa, situated in Nairobi, Kenya is not affected, “only that of Nigeria.”

The ADC was launched in Nigeria in 2022 after it was set up in 2019. It formed part of Microsoft’s $100 million investment for two development centres in Africa, with the other located in Nairobi.

Since its launch, ADC was reported to have hired 120 engineers and more than 200 total employees in Nigeria. At the launch in 2022, Managing Director, Microsoft ADC, West Africa, Gafar Lawal, said, “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 ADC was commissioned by former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isah Pantami and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. The ADC aimed to facilitate the creation of tech solutions that will solve both African and global problems.

“We desire to recruit exceptional engineering talent across the continent that will build innovative solutions for global impact. This also creates opportunities for engineers to do meaningful work from their home countries and be plugged into a global engineering and development organisation,” Microsoft had said in a statement.

The ADC facility in Lagos also housed the Microsoft Garage, an entity, launched to scale innovation in the tech ecosystem. An increased Microsoft presence in Africa will empower partners and customers as they use Microsoft solutions in fields important to the continent like FinTech, AgriTech and OffGrid energy.

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