The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) have agreed to partner with the European Union (EU), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on how to tackle the menace of illegal migration and human trafficking in the country.
Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, who was represented by the Director Research/ Programme Development, Mr. Godwin Mouka, stated this while noting that there was no better time than now for the country to wake up and combat illegal migration.
According to Dame Okah-Donli, “With the growing increase of Nigerians illegally traveling abroad through illegal channels, this partnership will go a long way in halting the trend.
Declaring that the Act prohibiting illegal migration /traffic in persons had really assisted the agency in carrying out its professional responsibilities of fighting illegal migration and trafficking in the country, the DG said the Act had also enabled the agency to prosecute traffickers as well as assist trafficking victims.
Okah-Donli insisted that the partnership with foreign organizations had really improved the services of the agency, especially in the area of prosecution pointing out that the agency had been able to embark on public enlightenment campaign, especially in the rural areas urging people to desist from such act as it was punishable by law
Furthermore, Dame Okah-Donli disclosed NAPTIP had embarked on training and retraining of personnel for effective and efficient service delivery to enable the agency carry out its professional responsibilities.
She added that NAPTIP was ever ready to collaborate with relevant agencies in the discharge of its duties, especially because of the challenge trafficking/ illegal migration posed.
In her remarks, Officer in-charge, UN office on Drugs and Crime, Mrs. Elisabeth Bayer, said the office was partnering with NAPTIP and NIS to assist the country in combating the menace.
Bayer commended Nigeria for establishing an Act prohibiting human trafficking and illegal migration in the country
On his part, the Deputy Head of EU to Nigeria/ECOWAS, Mr. Richary Young , said the organization was in partnership with NAPTIP and NIS to remove the ugly side of illegal migration in Nigeria.
Young said that the task of the EU was to minimize the risk involved and the implications of human trafficking and illegal migration.
He promised to continue to assist Nigeria where and when necessary in its quest to combat the menace that was on the increase.
Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, who was represented by DCG Justina Tekkune, said the partnership was timely and a good thing to happen to Nigeria.
Babandede also commended the international organizations for their efforts at making sure that Nigeria overcome the challenges of human trafficking and illegal migration.
Head of Missions, IOM, Mr. Charles Harns, commended Nigeria for being proactive in combating the challenge human trafficking and illegal migration posed to the country in recent times.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the partnership will go a long way in reducing human trafficking and illegal migration in the country,” Harns stated.