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Over 200 jobs at risk as Microsoft is set to close its Lagos Innovation Centre

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Microsoft may be set to close its African Development Centre (ADC) located in Lagos, raising concerns about the fate of approximately 200 jobs associated with the innovation hub.

The decision to close the ADC in the Ikoyi area of Lagos caught many by surprise. According to insider reports, employees were informed of the closure on Monday, with salary payments guaranteed until June and continued health insurance coverage.

While Microsoft has not provided explicit reasons for the closure, speculation points to Nigeria’s challenging economic landscape as a potential factor influencing the decision. The move seems to impact only ADC’s West Africa operations in Nigeria. Its East Africa facility in Nairobi, Kenya, remains unaffected.

Established in 2019 as part of Microsoft’s $100 million African Development Centres initiative, the Lagos ADC initially aimed to foster local innovation by hiring more than 120 engineers upon its unveiling in 2022. It eventually expanded its staff to over 200 members.

While Microsoft executives have yet to comment on the closure publicly, THISDAY quoted a close source as saying that “no investor would be ready to lose money from any investments and that when an investment is fast losing money, it would be in the best interest of the investors to shut down the business to avoid further loss of money.”

Nigeria’s business environment has become harsher, with economic uncertainties potentially impacting investment decisions. Fluctuations in import duty rates, unstable regulatory policies, and, recently, unreasonable tax expectations have contributed to the hardships in the business sector.

Despite Microsoft’s previous optimism about the potential for African innovation, the closure of its Lagos centre raises serious concerns.

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