In its effort to tackle the issue of Trafficking in Persons in Nigeria (TIP), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) together with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) have partnered Donor Agencies to strengthen the fight against human trafficking in both the Nigeria and other destination countries.
The Director General, NAPTIP, Mrs. Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim at a joint stakeholders dialogue on TIP and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) at the NIS head office Wednesday in Abuja said the Agency’s strong partnership with both national and international agencies has helped in the fight against the menace.
“But going forward we would like to fight differently paying important attention to our relationships. As a team, we are committed and diligent in our work and going forward we have a new vision that would ensure that we work with all the stakeholders and in all we are sure we would always find partners in progress.”
Mrs. Imaan said NAPTIP would continue to work with defines strategic approaches on policy prevention, protection, prosecution and strengthening partnerships adding that their main area of collaborations have been synergies in partners, joint law enforcement operations, intelligence sharing and other areas of immediate collaborations.
“We would continue to fight the traffickers in all from all entry point and as we focus on growth because as an Agency, we haven’t grow enough.”
The Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammed Babandede who commended NAPTIP in the fight against TIP said, the issue of trafficking is dear to his heart explaining that he was part of those that started combating trafficking in Nigeria even before NAPTIP was established.
“We contributed to the right of the legislative and Nigeria became one of the best country in the world in combating trafficking at that time Nigeria was great unfortunately we started going down and it has to do with leadership. If there is no leadership to effect changes, things go down but we have seen that this leader is ready to bring new change so that we can come back.”
Babandede also said the fight against human trafficking is a humanitarian issue and that is why the USA, Switzerland Embassy and other international donors are supporting us in this fight.
He urged the partners also be a resource persons in NAPTIP so that they can also contribute to ensure we protect our children and women against exploitation especially outside the country.
“Today, we decides to put trafficking as SOM together because they are connected. NAPTIP has domesticated trafficking, immigration has a domesticated trafficking because of a lot of migrants but the differences between the two is very minor especially when it comes to external trafficking. I want every officers in NAPTIP and immigration to be committed to this. This is the beginning of the better way to combat trafficking-as migrant in Nigeria and if Nigeria does it well the world will be good because a lot of our victims are spread around the world.”
The United Nations Office in Drugs and Crime (UNODC) country representative in Nigeria, Dr. Oliver Stope said we must strengthen our efforts in the fight against TIP and SOM in Nigeria.
Dr. Stope also said, it is important we scale up in prosecution adding that presently, judgement are very few on cases of TIP.
He also said we must reach out to the people at the grassroots because they are mostly affected as especially children.