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Microsoft Uninstalls Nigeria as it closes African Development Centre (ADC) in Lagos

Microsoft Uninstalls Nigeria as it closes African Development Centre (ADC) in Lagos

Many years ago while in FUTO, we created an amazing campus radio station which covered the whole university. We were engineering students, and the FUTO radio station was the zenith of our call. But one afternoon, the Head of Department summoned me, as Director of Research, and dropped a bombshell: the Vice Chancellor would like the radio closed immediately because Nigeria’s ruler, Sani Abacha, was concerned that we could use it to take over the airwaves of Nigeria.

Yes, he was worried that a coup could happen through the station. That day, our Director of Social, Osita, who had developed a roster of shifts with anchors, DJs, etc, for the station, had to abruptly cancel everything. And some lovebirds who had paid for their friends to be wished happy birthdays on the air had their money returned.

That was the first time I learnt the power of own-goals in national development. How could a leader of a country be worried about our toy project? In some countries, he would have sent commendation letters, honouring the students. As the Director of Research, I dropped my resignation, and one by one, everyone resigned and handed all the files with the Head of Department and the university.

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But own-goals have never stopped, and they continue in Nigeria. In 2023, we scored many at the national level, and the impacts are everywhere:

Amid economic challenges in Nigeria, Microsoft’s African Development Centre (ADC) in Lagos faces potential closure, putting over 200 jobs at risk and exacerbating the country’s unemployment crisis. The news comes as the Nigerian stock market experiences a downturn, with the NGX All-Share Index declining and the naira depreciating against the dollar. This development follows a series of exits by foreign companies from Nigeria, including Bolt Nigeria’s quiet layoffs and office closures.

“While Microsoft has not issued an official statement, affected employees might receive salaries until June and continue to have access to their health insurance. The ripple effects of this exit are significant, impacting various sectors including printing presses, HMOs, brand communication firms, audit firms, and stationery vendors. This situation highlights the challenges foreign investors face in Nigeria’s current economic climate, leaving many to wonder about the future of innovation and job creation in the country.”


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