It was an eventful day at the Headquarters of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Tuesday 13th September 2022, as High decision-makers, State and Non-State Actors, cross-section of Development Partners, Civil Society Organisations and other Stakeholders, unanimously commended (NAPTIP) the Director General, Dr Fatima Waziri – Azi, for her proactive response and highly skilled managerial approach to issues of Human Trafficking as well as Sexual and Gender-Based Violence even the face of emerging global challenges that have brought additional responsibilities on the Agency.
This was the high point of the Second Edition of the virtual Enlightenment Engagement platform tagged “ The Conversation with NAPTIP”, held today Tuesday 13th September 2022.
It was created by the Agency as an additional awareness creation platform to encourage conversation and dialogue amongst stakeholders and partners of NAPTIP in the fight against human trafficking and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
This edition coincided with One Year in the office of Dr Fatima Waziri – Azi as Director General of NAPTIP.
In her assessment, the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq described the appointment of Dr Fatima Waziri – Azi as a round peg in a round hole; hence the torrent of achievements being recorded by the Government of Nigeria in the fight against human trafficking.
The minister said “ Her appointment was the best thing that has happened to NAPTIP, because this is a lady who even hitherto to her appointment has been engaged in this area of addressing the issues of human Trafficking in the country. I can say it’s a good choice, it’s the right choice and I am really very proud of her. She has moved NAPTIP to the position that it should be and I am sure she will move it higher and higher”.
Alhaji Abubakar Usman Gotomo, Chairman, NAPTIP Governing Board, has this to say “ We can say Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi has exhibited a very remarkable quality of leadership in the last year she has stayed in office. I am particularly very impressed with the quality of her innovations, very skilful interactions in the enabling environment she created for the board to operate and relate with the management of that Agency is very fantastic, and if I am to score her, I will give her Fantastic because she has started well.
Prestage Murima, Acting Head of Mission International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said “In the past year our relationship really has strengthened not because things have changed in terms of our operations but because of the leadership, we find it very easy to work with Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi and she is very straightforward with us especially when we have meetings and engagement and we talk about our relationship with partners, all we hear are only good things about other partners relationship with Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi. On a personal level, I wish her very well”
In his unbiased assessment on behalf of over 200 registered members, Mr Abdulganiyu Abubakar, National President of the Network Against Trafficking, Abuse and Child Labor (NACTAL) submitted that “Something is very outstanding about the present Director General in the person of Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi in the sense that she operates an open door policy, she is welcoming and a leader who embraces every sector of the population. If you look back in the last on-year since she resumed office precisely 13th September 2021, there has been more meaningful involvement of Civil Society Organisations in the interventions of NAPTIP across Nigeria. Even the development partners are much more aware of the presence of the Government.
To the Director General of NAPTIP, our very good friend and an advocate of the Rule of Law, I want to congratulate her. We pray that the almighty continues to guide, direct her steps, and pray for divine Guidance”.
Oluwatoyosi Giwa, Component Manager, Access to Justice for Women, Children and PWD, RoLAC, said “In the past year, we have seen a strengthened VAPP Dept, we’ve seen a strengthened It Department (those who are responsible for managing the backend of the National Sex Offenders Register NSOD), we’ve seen 5 additional states linking up to the NSOD, we’ve seen them increase the number of SGBV vases they respond to in a day, a week and a Month.
Overall her leadership over the past year, I will say has been very impactful and very productive”, ROLAc Official said.
Olumu Abdulazeez ESQ, Director Studies, National Judicial Institute said “When the Director General NAPTIP was appointed I was elated, the reason being that looking back at many years of working with her in a close circle, I could recall that this is someone that will bring a lot of changes to the way things are done in NAPTIP and I wasn’t surprised, the Giant leaps she made up to this particular moment, Going forward I am not expecting anything less, it is just the way she is configured, this is someone that believes in getting results. I see NAPTIP up there in the near future. There is no doubt about it, she has been doing so much and I wish her the very best.
Jose-Nsang Ademe, Institutional Coordinator, FIIAPP, said “What I’ve seen since I know Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi in the office is that she is doing efforts toward inter-institutional coordination but not only that but also doing efforts to coordinate and bring together the international partners working with NAPTIP and this is very important.
In her opening speech, Dr Fatima Waziri – Azi, who outlined her modest achievements over the past One year, appreciated the support of all Stakeholders and promised that the Agency shall continue to re-strategise to meet the emerging global challenges in tackling human trafficking in the Country.
Dr Fatima Wazir – Azi said, “ Also, today’s engagement coincides with my One Year in office. Yep! I know, right? It’s been one year already and I thank God for His grace and I am grateful for the confidence reposed in me by Mr President and the Honourable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, to change the narrative of Nigeria on issues of human trafficking. This one year has been one of stability, modification, creativity and continued growth.
“ During the past year, we expanded our operational structures, and we amplified momentum across the Agency’s 5 prong approaches of prevention, protection, prosecution, partnership and policy. By expanding collaborations, we were able to enhance diligent investigation and prosecution of cases, benefitted from tons of capacity building for officers with the generous support of our partners, and the Nigerian Army.
“In addition, we expanded the cumulative bed space capacity of the Agency’s shelters, enhanced international cooperation, scaled awareness campaigns and translated strategies into concert actions. We deepened existing partnerships and laid the foundation for future collaborations. With the leadership of our supervising Minister, 3 key policy documents were approved by the Federal Executive Council in February and March 2022 respectively and they are: The National Action plan on Human Trafficking (2022 – 2026); National Policy for the Protection and Assistance to Victims of Trafficking in Persons and the Protocol for Identification, Safe Return and Reintegration of Trafficked Persons”, the Director General said.
Speakers at the virtual session include Dr Moji Sodeinde, Regional Head, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) who spoke on Using Educational Institutions as a Driver for fighting Human Trafficking”, Ene Ede, former FCT VAPP Coordinator. She spoke on Ending SGBV/VAPP through Proper Stakeholders Collaboration and Awareness Campaign ” and Mr Abdulganiyu Abubakar, National President, Network Against Child Trafficking Abuse and Labour (NACTAL). He spoke on “Civil Society Organization as a Catalyst in the fight against human trafficking”.