Report: Nigeria sacks half a million workers, 350,000 soldiers in unrest

About half a million Nigerian workers lost their jobs during what is now a protracted period of national unrest. That figure is contained in a government audit report of the second round of the…

Report: Nigeria sacks half a million workers, 350,000 soldiers in unrest

About half a million Nigerian workers lost their jobs during what is now a protracted period of national unrest.

That figure is contained in a government audit report of the second round of the Standard International Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Governance Initiative which highlighted the high level of illegal arms shipments through the land route from Nigeria’s land borders to its seaports.

Calls for investigation

The report also recommended setting up a task force to investigate the origin of all unregistered weapons across the country. Some experts have also called for investigation into charges that local fighters helped Cameroonian troops kill hundreds of militia members on the Nigerian side of the porous border before the subsequent flow of arms from Nigeria.

The audit was commissioned in June 2012 following the spillover of the Boko Haram insurgency, which has destabilized northern Nigeria, forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

Unregulated smuggling

The analysis found there were more than 10,000 illegal weapons out of circulation at the end of August last year. The audit, by researchers at the University of Ibadan and the police, covered a period of two years up to August 2012.

One key finding was that 32 out of 29 land borders of the country were not monitored by border and maritime security officials. Five of them were operational but used for smuggling.

The audit also outlined five imported weapons seized by Nigerian security officials for being unauthorized. Of the 27 guns, two pistols, six rifles and 11 other firearms declared, three were registered while seven were not.

An official statement from the Nigerian immigration department told The Washington Post: “Our activities are designed to curb illegal movement of arms and any form of movement that runs counter to the law. Our officers do this successfully by not only ensuring the orderly movement of people, goods and documents through our territory, but also enforcing laws and regulations.”

A spokesman for the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Anjuguri Manzah, said the agency has asked the office of the National Security Adviser to conduct an independent investigation into the findings of the audit.

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