The fight against human trafficking by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) received a significant boost. The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs has concluded plans to partner with the Agency for the long-term rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking.

Specifically, the Ministry and NAPTIP are to jointly rehabilitate the 10 Nigerian girls, victims of human trafficking who were recently rescued in Ghana.

This partnership was one of the outcomes of the visit of the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs, Hon. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, to the Headquarters of NAPTIP on Monday. The visit followed viral reports of the trafficking of some Nigerian girls to Ghana for sexual exploitation.

Speaking with Journalists after the meeting, the Director General of NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri – Azi, Ph.D, thanked the Minister for the visit and her support towards to sustained fight against human trafficking adding that the Agency has been very proactive, strategic, and deliberate in carrying out its mandates leading to the conviction of 29 human traffickers from January 2024 till date, 67 traffickers in 2023, 80 in 2022 and a total of 670 human trafficking convictions since the inception of the Agency including the rescue of over 23,000 victims.

Prof. Fatima Waziri–Azi said, “Even though the Government has a major role in tackling human trafficking, communities and families have an even greater role in tackling these issues. Regarding the girls in Ghana, we are in touch with the Ghanaian Anti-Human Trafficking Unit.

The girls have been rescued and are safe. The perpetrator has been arrested, and I am also in contact with Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM). I am very delighted by the Honourable Minister’s visit this morning. From our conversation, we will definitely approach this issue in a more strategic way, in terms of prevention. Prevention is better than cure.”
She added, “I also want to emphasize to parents and young people that there is no free lunch anywhere; if it is free, then you are definitely the product. We know that everyone desires a better life, but wanting a better life does not mean you should not be discerning.

When somebody comes and offers you Eldorado, please ask questions.”
Speaking also, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, commended NAPTIP for its visible impact in tackling human trafficking in Nigeria and promised to join hands with the Agency for sustained rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking through the existing empowerment scheme that has been established by the Ministry.

The Minster said, “I came here to see my sister concerning the issue of the Nigerian girls trafficked to Ghana. We will join hands with NAPTIP to empower them, give them skills or send them to school”.

The Minister also disclosed plans to embark on massive advocacy among diverse stakeholders including operators of commercial transport companies, the Aviation Sector, the Marine Sector, and a cross-section of parents across the country adding that parents and transport operators will be held responsible if found culpable in the trafficking of children. She solicits the support and cooperation of all Nigerians to tackle the issues of human trafficking in the Country.

Adekoye Vincent
Communications Officer
10th June, 2024

By News Connect Online

News Connect Online is a grassroot advocacy news platform established to promote development and peace through efficient and effective reportage across all beats. Beat: Education, Entertainment Environment Energy Business Health, Sport, Foreign News, Advocacy, Tourism, Transportation

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