Microsoft Shuts Down Innovation Centre in Lagos, Puts Several Jobs at Risk

Emma Okonji

Microsoft may have taken a business decision to shut down its African Development Centre (ADC) located in Ikoyi, Lagos, a development that will affect over 500 jobs that are directly linked to the innovation centre.

Although no reason was given by Microsoft for the decision to close down the innovation centre in Lagos, but sources close to Microsoft Nigeria said Microsoft informed the staff on Monday of its decision to close down the innovation centre, which also houses the Microsoft Garage, where local solutions are developed and nurtured to maturity.

THISDAY spoke with a senior staff at Microsoft yesterday, who neither denied the information nor accept it as truth. The senior staff however said Microsoft would soon react to the media information.  

Another source close to Microsoft, however said the decision to close down the Microsoft Innovation Centre could be linked to the tough business environment in Nigeria, coupled with the harsh economic realities of the Nigerian economy. The source said 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.

Microsoft had in 2019, initiated the innovation centre, with the purpose to create centres where technology solutions would be developed from Africa to address the African challenges as well as global challenges. Pleased with the initiative, Microsoft went ahead to establish the $100 million African Development Centres in Nigeria and Kenya, but decided to shut down that of Nigeria, leaving Kenya’s centre to still operate in Kenya.

THISDAY, had last month, observed what appeared to look like a desolate area in the building housing the Microsoft Innovation Centre in Lagos. The entire seven floors of the building were without staff and the few staff members on duty were the front desk staff and security personnel that kept watch over the place. The absence of staff was an indication that Microsoft may have taken the decision earlier to shut down the innovation centre. 

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