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Microsoft sacks workers at Lagos office as it plans exit from Nigeria

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Microsoft sacks workers at Lagos office as it plans exit from Nigeria

Microsoft has sacked its workers at the Africa Development Centre (ADC) in Lagos, Nigeria as it plans to exit the West African nation.

The ADC is Microsoft’s initiative in Africa for an engineering centre to provide local solutions with global scalability as well as provide employment opportunities and further enhance technological innovations on the continent.

TheCable quoted a company source to have confirmed the development on Wednesday,

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The source said the workforce was laid off but the reasons are still unknown.

The company has also reportedly shut down the centre.

According to industry insiders who spoke to The Guardian newspaper on Tuesday, Microsoft informed 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.

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

Microsoft had 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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