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The Director-General of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli has vowed to hunt human traffickers wherever they operate within the country adding that the era of trading in young promising Nigerian youths were over.

She disclosed that the Agency is currently working on modality to ensure the inclusion of human trafficking in the whistle blowing policy of the present administration saying that trafficking in persons is a crime that deserves all the necessary attention due to its security and social implication to any nation.

The NAPTIP boss stated this during her maiden press briefing which took place at the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

She rolled out her vision for the Agency saying that she is poised to take the Agency to a global level so that it could rank among its peers around the world.

The DG said, “my vision for the Agency is to re-engineer this Specialized Crime Fighting Agency that is the foremost in the suppression and elimination of trafficking in persons with specific attention on awareness creation, advocacy, enforcement of the law, capacity development as well as comprehensive rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking in order to enhance the dignity of all persons in line with international best practices.

“As part of my vision concerning awareness creation, NAPTIP Officers this morning commenced a weekly sensitization campaign at diverse public places around the country. This activity which will be done every Thursday will involve our officers moving into the streets and other public places to educate the members of the public on the ills of human trafficking. In addition, the Agency will in July this year launch a massive nationwide campaign against human trafficking. The planned campaign will involve all stakeholders as we join hands to end this scourge.

“During this massive awareness campaign, NAPTIP will seek out Nigerians in market squares, town halls, village squares, schools, motor parks, churches, etc. We will show pictures, engage them in local languages with victim’s stories. I will revamp our hotlines so that they can function like the ones you have in developed countries. Anytime any Nigerian calls, NAPTIP WILL NOT ONLY answer, NAPTIP WILL RESPOND” she said.

On the unabated activities of some human traffickers, the NAPTIP boss said that real hard times await them because “if the traffickers decide to sail across the Ocean, NAPTIP operatives shall be ahead of them. If they fly in the air, we shall await their landing and on the death prone routes through the hottest deserts, we shall be right at the next point waiting for them.

Donli assured that the Agency shall avail itself of the enormous benefits of the modern technology in tacking the human trafficking issues saying, “The Agency shall avail itself of the enormous benefits of the modern technology to keep our eyes on the whole country and specifically the notable endemic regions to elicit prompt response from the people on cases of human trafficking”.

She promised capacity development of operatives of the Agency in order to be able to effectively discharge their duties pointing out that “Human trafficking is a global phenomenon of serious concern that requires collective efforts in order to combat it. This is simply because of the attendant casualties and other negative effects that have characterized the migration aspect of trafficking. It is a known fact that human trafficking has moved from the era of analogue and person-to-person recruitment of victims to a well orchestrated criminal network that is designed to deceive even the very best operatives. It has moved from the era of physical administration of oath of secrecy on victims in person, to the era of digital initiation at the destination point and other sacred points of exploitation in the full glare of android devices in order to command the required compliance.

On the performance of the Agency since its inception, she said that “Since its inception, it is worthy of note that NAPTIP has not only performed to satisfaction, but has been able to salvage lives and future of many Nigerians, mostly the promising youths. A critical analysis of the overall performance of the Agency shows that since its inception, it has received a total of 4, 755 cases, investigated 3, 407 while a huge number of 10, 685 victims have been rescued. In the same vein, the Agency has convicted a total of 321 persons.

Adekoye Vincent

for: Head, PPRU

APTIP DG PROMISES HELL TO HUMAN TRAFFICKERS

...PLANS MASSIVE NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN IN JULY

The United Kingdom Deputy High Commission to Nigeria, Her Excellency, Harriet Thompson has declared that human trafficking remains absolutely an issue of high priority to the UK government, adding that her country will continue to partner with Nigeria and other relevant institution to combat the menace.

The UK envoy said Britain is desirous of seeking further ways of collaboration with Nigeria and specifically the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for the purpose of reducing the ugly development of human trafficking.

Harriet Thompson stated this when she led a delegation from the British High Commission on a courtesy visit to the Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli at the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

The delegation included Lewis Evans First Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs, Nicolas Marrs Regional Manager for Immigration Enforcement and Richard Ough from the Department for International Development, Modern Slavery/Human Trafficking lead.

The Deputy High Commissioner who expressed satisfaction with the performance of NAPTIP briefed the DG on the progress recorded in the UK sponsored Joint Border Task Force (JBTF) and other collaborative projects under the Memorandum of Understating signed by both countries for the purpose of proper management of migration.

While suggesting the need to step up sensitization and awareness creation aspect of the NAPTIP statutory function, the British envoy promised continuous assistance to the Agency, most especially in the areas of capacity building for Officers of the Agency as well as strengthening operations of the JBTF which are parts of the contents of the MOU earlier signed by both parties.

In her response, NAPTIP DG, Julie Okah-Donli, commended the British government for her assistance to the Agency pointing out that NAPTIP has recorded tremendous progress in the areas of referral system as well as operations of the JBTF programme.

The NAPTIP boss reiterated her vision for the Agency which she said is to re-engineer NAPTIP as a specialized crime fighting Agency that is foremost in the suppression and elimination of trafficking in persons with specific attention on awareness creation, advocacy, enforcement of the law, capacity development as well as comprehensive rehabilitation of human trafficking in order to enhance the dignity of all persons in line with international best practices.

She urged the visiting envoy to accelerate action on the implementation of some of the components of the earlier signed MOU that have not been touched so that both parties can keep faith with the agreement.

Highlight of the visit was the presentation of some of the publications of the Agency to the visiting UK delegation.

Adekoye Vincent

For; Head PPRU