By: Mustapha Gambo Muhammad
The Director General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons ( NAPTIP) Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, on Monday says border communities have a significant role towards curtailing the menace of human trafficking in Nigeria.
Dr Waziri-Azi made the assertion at Maigatari District Head’s Palace, Maigatari LGA, of Jigawa State.
The Director General, represented by Director Public Enlightenment of NAPTIP, Mr. Josiah Emerole said the Agency has Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Niger Republic, under Niger-Nigeria Trafficking In Person (TIP Project).
She also said the aim of the program is to strengthening Niger-Nigeria cooperation on countering trafficking in human beings.
“We’re here at Maigatari as part of our mandate and collaboration to ensure we alert Maigatari residents on the ills and negative tendency of human trafficking,”
“Its unfortunate that criminals took away innocent children out of their comfort zones and moved them from the custody of their parents,” she further said.
She lamented that Maigatari border has been among the route of human trafficking from Nigeria to West Africa, North Africa and European countries.
She maintained that fighting the scourge need collective efforts from all key relevant stakeholders.
She added that no single, agency or nation can successfully win the war of eradicating human trafficking, without joint initiative.
“That is why under this MoU we’re moving from one border community to another keeping residents informed on the dangers of human trafficking,”
“Our aim is to transform resident of border communities into Advocates and Vigilante to curtail the menace.” The DG further stressed.
Also speaking, Dr. Mojisola Sodeinde
Head of Region, ICMPD West Africa, congratulated the Nigerian National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and its counterpart, the Nigerien National Agency for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Illicit Trafficking of Migrants (ANLTP/TIM) for taking this bold step to institute a formal process for bilateral cooperation on issues relating to trafficking in human beings.
According to her, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is an international organisation with 18 Member States, active in more than 90 countries worldwide, noting that it takes a regional approach in its work to create efficient cooperation and partnerships along migration routes.
Similarly, in her remarks, Mrs Angela Agbayikai, Head of Intelligence and International Cooperation, NAPTIP said her role is to ensure the collaboration between Niger-Nigeria cooperation in the aspect of fighting human trafficking is well established.
She further said the collaboration has been a good one and is yielding a fruitful results.
She enjoined other African countries to emulate from Niger-Nigeria cooperation.
In his speech, Abdulganiy Abubakar, the National President, Network Against Child Trafficking Abuse and Labour, (NACTAN) said Niger-Nigeria joint initiative of fighting human trafficking, supported by ICMPD and NAPTIP, noting that the aim of the intervention was to strengthen the cooperation of the two countries who shared borders.
He revealed that Nigeria has been a major destination for victims who are being trafficked from Nigeria to West African Countries to Europe.
He added that the aim of the sensitization was to highlight the procedures of reporting cases of human trafficking to NAPTIP, Kano Zonal Office to ensure prosecution.
Earlier in his address, the Kano Zonal Commander, Barrister Abdullahi Shuaibu Babale highlighted offences and punishment related to human trafficking.
He said Kano Zonal Office, has secured many convictions to serve as deterrent.