There is something worse than unemployment—grappling with a toxic workplace.

While most Nigerian graduates dread becoming part of the unemployed statistic, projected to reach 33.5% next year, there has been an increasing report of toxicity at many workplaces. One of such reports is the unmasking of the demeaning working conditions employees of Divergent Enterprise endure. Divergent Enterprise, whose portfolio companies include Landlagos, PorkMoney, Hyberfactory and Porkoyum, is owned by Glory Osei and Muyiwa Folorunsho.

The obvious red flag of a toxic work environment ought to be the recruitment process, but because the process is broken across many companies in Nigeria (including those considered to be one of the best workplace), job seekers often shrug it off as a system glitch. The most common glitches are time-wasting at interviews and not getting back to applicants (even if it's a rejection email).

Most Nigerian companies, unfortunately, can't be bothered with investing heavily in the process of attracting and hiring the best talent. They prefer to focus on the product rather than the producers. This is a counter-intuitive stance. And the result has been a hit-and-miss for both these companies and the job seekers—that shrug off red flags as just that, rather than an indication of what is to come.

Perhaps, to put a method to the madness, Jobberman—the biggest job portal and career platform in Nigeria—introduced the "Best 100 Companies to Work For in Nigeria" report in 2014. The report does not only highlight the best workplaces in Nigeria across different industries, it also provides key metrics by which job seekers can assess a company.

What makes a company a good workplace?

Out of the 3000+ valid responses that were analyzed in the latest Jobberman report, only 48% of employees are happy with their current job. 9% are unhappy and the rest are just neither happy nor unhappy.

The factors that make a company a good workplace, according to Jobberman, are extrinsic, intrinsic, and wildcard traits.

The extrinsic traits are factors employees desire in an ideal workplace, while the intrinsic traits are inherent factors a company must have to ensure employee retention and satisfaction. The wildcard traits are factors not listed in the survey but are desired by respondents in their ideal workplace.

Office of one of the Nigerian tech companies whose workspace we reviewed—Softcom HQ

The top-ranked extrinsic traits are strong relatable company values and goals, open and effective management, flexible hours, transparent performance management, and health programmes. Others include mentoring and coaching, experimentational environment, family support, diversity hiring, and training.

The top five intrinsic traits ranked by respondents are: competitive pay package, job security, career growth, financially stable company, and welfare benefits. While the wild card traits are staff support, reputable company, conducive work environment, teamwork, and corporate culture.

The Top Employers Institute, which certifies human resource excellence of companies globally, certifies only 10 companies in Nigeria as Top Employers. And none of them is a tech company.

However, according to the fifth edition of the Best 100 Companies to Work for in Nigeria report by Jobberman, these are the best tech companies to work for in Nigeria:

10 best tech companies to work for in Nigeria

The ten are categorised as follows: one global engineering-outsourcing company (Andela), three American multinationals (Google, Microsoft, Oracle), three fintechs (Paystack, Interswitch and Flutterwave), one e-commerce firm (Jumia), one bulgaria-headquartered IT support company (Tek Experts) and one indigenous technology firm (Softcom).

1. Andela

Andela is a pan-African company offering Engineering As A Service (EAAS). It identifies, trains, develops and connect African talents to the engineering team of global companies. While it was ranked as the overall best company to work for last year, Andela fell to the ninth position on the index this year.

2. Google

Google Nigeria office

Like Andela, Google has regularly featured on the best company index. It was ranked as the 11th best company to work for in Nigeria last year. On the 2019 index, however, Google slipped to the 15th position. The Google Nigeria office, which was designed by Space Finish, is one of the best workspaces in the country.  

3. Paystack

Ranked as the 27th best company to work for in Nigeria, Paystack makes its debuts on the index. Earlier this year, the digital payment company had its largest recruitment round.

4. Microsoft

With its African Development Centre recently launched in Lagos, Microsoft is ranked as the 28th best company to work for in Nigeria.

5. Interswitch

Interswitch, the soon-to-be first  Africa's tech unicorn, is ranked as the 37th best company to work for in Nigeria, dropping four places from last year.

6. Jumia

Despite its operational challenges, the foremost e-commerce company in Nigeria rose 22 places to be ranked as the 38th best company to work for in the country.

7. Tek Experts Nigeria

Tek Experts is a leading, global provider of business and IT support services. It is ranked as the 67th best company to work for in Nigeria.

8. Oracle

Oracle is a leading provider of cloud applications and platform services. It is ranked as the 69th best company to work for in Nigeria.

9. Flutterwave

Fintech Flutterwave is ranked as the 87th best company to work for in Nigeria.

10. Softcom

Softcom, the parent company of Eyowo—a mobile money service, is ranked as the 95th best company to work for in Nigeria. The 12-year-old engineering company also has an enviable workspace, what some might refer to as one of the best designed in Nigeria.


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