Microsoft Nigeria Sacks Many Staff but Denies Closure

Microsoft Nigeria

Microsoft Nigeria confirms African Development Center layoffs but denies its closure

In a move that has raised concerns about the future of its African Development Center (ADC) in Lagos, Nigeria, Microsoft has confirmed the layoff of its engineering team. Despite earlier reports of a complete shutdown, the company has clarified that the Lagos facility remains operational. However, the departure of the core engineering team has sparked questions about the center’s continued viability.

Microsoft Nigeria Established in 2019

Microsoft established the ADC in 2019 as part of a $100 million initiative to expand its engineering talent pool, engage with local communities, and invest in Microsoft programs. The center aimed to develop Microsoft products used by over 1 billion devices worldwide, empowering millions of users and organizations. Over the past five years, the ADC employed at least 120 engineers and more than 200 total staff members.


The layoff of the engineering team is part of Microsoft’s ongoing global restructuring efforts, which began in 2023. The company has been implementing workforce adjustments and organizational changes to align with global market conditions and meet customer needs. In July 2023, Microsoft initiated layoffs, supplementing the 10,000 job reductions announced earlier in January of that year.

According to a Microsoft Nigeria spokesperson, the company will continue to prioritize and invest in strategic growth areas for its future and in support of its customers and partners. However, the exact reasons for the changes at the ADC remain unspecified.

Local reports indicate that affected employees will receive salary payments until June 2024 and will still be covered by health insurance. Despite this, the future of the ADC in Lagos hangs in the balance. Speculation is rife about whether Microsoft will shutter its operations in Nigeria or consider AI-driven alternatives.

  • Microsoft Nigeria and FX Rate 

The development comes amid broader economic challenges in Nigeria, including foreign exchange concerns and unfavorable economic conditions, resulting in the closure of several international businesses across the country. On May 7, 2024, Microsoft’s Xbox announced plans to close several gaming studios, including the renowned Arkne Austin, further fueling uncertainty about the company’s plans for its African operations.

As the tech industry continues to evolve, Microsoft’s commitment to training, equipping, and hiring engineering talent in Nigeria and West Africa remains uncertain. The African Development Center’s fate serves as a reminder of the dynamic nature of the tech landscape, where adaptability and innovation are crucial for survival.

Editorial Note: 

In the coming weeks and months, the industry will be watching closely to see how Microsoft navigates these changes and whether the ADC in Lagos will continue to play a role in the company’s global operations. One thing is clear: the future of tech in Africa remains full of possibilities, and the industry will be eagerly awaiting Microsoft’s next move.



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