By Joe Nwankwo, Assistant Editor, Abuja
As part of efforts aimed at providing jobs for the teaming unemployed Nigerian youths and curbing the activities of insurgents in the country the National Taskforce to Combat the Illegal Importation of Goods, Small Arms, Ammunition and Light Weapons (NATFORCE) on Wednesday pledged to create about three million jobs within one year.
This is as it called for the disbandment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for having failed to deliver on its mandate of fighting corruption in the country.
Director General of NATFORCE and President, Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN), Emmanuel Osita Okereke, addressing newsmen in Abuja.
According to him, “Boko Haram is as a result of lack of jobs; we are going to create jobs for Nigerian youths.
“In the next one year, we would create about three million jobs to engage our youths and get them off the streets.
“We are also calling for the disbandment of the EFCC as they have compromised, they take money from people and seize their properties illegally, I took loans to assist the nation only to be scandalised by the EFCC.
“The effects of illegal arms and weapons of terror in Nigeria are self explanatory and calls for a concerted effort by all and sundry to successfully prosecute this war against terror.
“The support, collaboration and involvement of all genuine stakeholders is a condition precedent to winning the war.
“It is within this framework that the proposition of certain organised private sector stakeholders, like the Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN), was accepted by government to set up a special task force to combat illegal importation and smuggling of small arms, a munitions and light weapons into Nigeria”, he added.
He stated: “IMAN seeking to absolve itself of any culpability for the influx of illegal arms into the country keyed into the crusade by partnering with government in the composition of the National Taskforce to Combat Illegal Importation and Smuggling of Small Arms, Ammunition and Light Weapons (NATFORCE).
“The task force was jointly inaugurated by the former Minister of Finance, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr, Danladi Kifasi, and the former National Security Adviser, represented by Brig. Gen Bala Ali on July 16, 2010.
“The NATFORCE was given the following mandate, to identify the sources and main routes of these small arms, ammunition and light weapons, to identify why the illicit trade thrives in Nigeria, to liaise with the relevant authorities, agencies ad organisations with the aim of making a success of the assignment, to put in place all other machinery needed for the successful prosecution of the campaign to combat illegal importation and smuggling of small arms, ammunition and light weapons into the country among others”, he added.