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Microsoft considers closing Lagos office, 200 jobs at stake



Microsoft considers closing Lagos office, 200 jobs at stake

Microsoft considers closing Lagos office, 200 jobs at stake

Reports have emerged indicating that Microsoft is contemplating shutting down its major investment in Nigeria, putting approximately 200 jobs at risk. The revelation, first reported by The Guardian, has sent shockwaves through the tech community, raising concerns about the future of the firm’s operations in the country.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Microsoft’s management has already communicated the potential closure to employees, assuring them of their salaries until June 2024. This unexpected development has left many in the workforce anxious about their livelihoods and the broader implications for Nigeria’s tech industry.

Microsoft’s Africa Development Centre (ADC), which was inaugurated in 2022 with locations in Nairobi, Kenya, and Lagos, Nigeria, aimed to bolster the company’s presence on the continent. The ADC, envisioned as a hub for engineering excellence, sought to harness African talent to create solutions with both local and global impact.

However, the latest setback appears to affect only the Lagos-based Nigerian office, which housed critical teams responsible for product engineering, ecosystem development, and innovation initiatives. The closure would not only disrupt ongoing projects but also dismantle the Microsoft Garage, an entity integral to fostering innovation within the tech ecosystem.

Since its inception, the ADC has been pivotal in driving technological advancement and talent development in Nigeria and West Africa at large. Gafar Lawal, the Managing Director of ADC West Africa, emphasized the centre’s commitment to training and equipping engineering talent to contribute to Microsoft’s global ecosystem.

Despite the positive outlook at its launch, the sudden decision to consider closing the Lagos office has left many puzzled. While the exact reasons remain undisclosed, speculation abounds regarding the influence of Nigeria’s economic challenges on Microsoft’s decision-making process.

As the tech giant grapples with its Nigerian operations, it has simultaneously announced a substantial $2.2 billion investment in Malaysia. This investment underscores Microsoft’s commitment to expanding its cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) services in the Asian region, signaling a strategic shift in its global investment priorities.

The investment in Malaysia, Microsoft’s largest in its three-decade history in the country, is poised to create opportunities for over 200,000 individuals, supporting the development of AI cloud capabilities and fostering innovation among the country’s developers.

While Microsoft’s decision to scale back in Nigeria raises concerns about the country’s attractiveness as a tech investment destination, it also underscores the evolving dynamics of global tech investments and the competitive landscape in emerging markets.

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