Nigeria uncovers 43,000 non-existent workers on military payroll

Audit reveals large-scale fraud in Nigerian military sector.

Nigeria has discovered 43,000 "ghost workers" among its security forces following an audit into the payroll of government ministries, departments and agencies.

The ongoing audit, established by Nigerian president Mohammadu Buhari, has so far saved the country N50 billion, and the government is confident of further savings as auditors continue their investigation.

The removal of the fake workers from the country's payroll is the latest move in a major reorganisation of the Nigerian army by Buhari, himself a military man who ruled Nigeria under a military regime in the 1980s.

Last July Buhari sacked the chiefs of Nigeria's army, navy and airforce and nominated a new chief of the defence staff, while in December he commuted the death sentences of 66 Nigerian soldiers, over charges of mutiny, to 10-year jail sentences.

The purge of non-existent Nigerian state employees comes days after Tanzania also made international headlines by removing more than 10,000 “ghost workers” from its books.