A man walks past a factory in northern Nigeria’s northeastern Yobe state.
The factory employs 3,000 people, mostly women and children, and produces about 1,000 pairs of cargo socks per day.
In the city of Gwoza, it is the main employer.
But after three years of production, the factory has not received a single shipment.
In September, the workers went on strike, demanding a raise.
The workers’ demand was met with harsh reprisals, and today the factory is closed, its windows smashed, its roof caved in.
“It is a massive disappointment,” says Ali, the sole worker who works in the factory.
“There is nothing we can do to change things.
It is like the worst nightmare of any Nigerian working person.
It has been almost a year since I started my job.
Now I am unemployed, my children are hungry, and my husband is suffering from the effects of tuberculosis.
We cannot get anything for our children.”
The company’s CEO is an ethnic Chechen from the same ethnic group as the man who runs the factory, the local mayor, Muhammad Yubu.
Yubus is a former military commander who now runs the city’s local branch of the Free Syrian Army.
But he is not alone.
There are hundreds of other workers who are struggling in similar circumstances.
“People like me have not been paid for months,” says Amin, a former factory worker, standing outside his workplace, a metal shop.
“The wages have not increased for months.
We can’t even get a little bit of food in the mornings.”
A factory worker in Yobe, Nigeria.
“I want to go back to work,” he says.
Amin and other workers have become desperate after months of being exploited.
“My husband and I are now trying to pay the rent on the house we live in.
We are worried about the future.
We don’t know what will happen next,” he said.
“They are treating us like dogs.”‘
The most desperate’ The plight of the workers at the factory shows the challenges facing millions of Nigerians working in the garment sector.
Like many other parts of the world, the economy in Nigeria is heavily dependent on exports.
As the world’s second-largest garment exporter, it has long depended on cheap labour from developing countries to manufacture its garments, often without a clear understanding of the long-term sustainability of the supply chain.
This is despite the fact that many of the factories that supply the world market with its garments are located in sub-Saharan Africa.
The world’s largest garment exporters account for nearly half of the global market for apparel.
The vast majority of these factories are based in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa, but the situation is not so dire for the Nigerians who make clothes for the global textile market.
But as the world economy continues to grow, many of these countries have also begun to struggle to maintain the livelihoods of their own workers.
This means that many garment factories are facing unprecedented levels of unemployment and low wages, with some of these companies unable to pay their employees.
“Nigerians working as seamstresses in Nigeria have the most desperate conditions,” said Hameed Ibrahim, the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to work, in a report released in December.
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of workers who have become sick due to working in these conditions, with the majority of the cases being related to exposure to dangerous working conditions.”
The UN estimates that at least 200,000 Nigerians have died in the global apparel industry since 2000.
According to the International Labour Organisation, this is the highest death toll since the Second World War.
But despite these dire statistics, many Nigerians continue to rely on cheap imports to make clothes.
As of the end of 2018, the world had exported $1.5 trillion in garments to Africa, according to the UN.
But according to one report, as of March, there were only around 500 garment factories in Nigeria, and the majority were based in other countries, such as China, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
This has led to huge gaps in the production of clothing.
According in one study by the University of California, Berkeley, Nigerians make up around 90% of the garment production in Africa, while China and India make up roughly 40% of global apparel production.
Many factories rely on low-paid, unpaid migrant workers to produce garments.
This leaves workers at risk of poverty, malnutrition and disease.
“Most of the factory workers are young men who are unable to find work in the cities,” Ibrahim said.
The lack of safety in the industry is also a major concern.
The Nigerian government has introduced new labour laws in recent years to combat the rampant exploitation of workers in the sector.
But the measures are still far from being enforced, with only two workers jailed in the country for allegedly abusing their workers.
Ibrahim and other labour activists say that many workers have been arrested simply for going to