Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has threatened serious action against human trafficking and other crimes relating to child abuse and exploitation in the State, saying that concerted efforts must be put in place to ensure adequate protection of Nigerians.
He described human trafficking as a fundamental problem whose victim are mostly vulnerable women and children, hence the need to support the efforts of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in tackling the menace, a statement by Adekoye Vincent, Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, NAPTIP disclosed.
The Governor stated this while receiving the Director General of NAPTIP, Senator Basheer Garba Muhammed who led other members of the Management of the Agency as well as Officials of the FIIAPP on courtesy visit on the Governor as part of the activities lined up for the setting up and inauguration of the Katsina State Task Force on Human Trafficking in the State.
The development came just as the Director General of NAPTIP, Senator Basheer Garba Muhammed disclosed that the Agency has concluded plan to embark on a mega rehabilitation project with the planned establishment of an improved modern Skill Acquisition Centre in some strategic highly endemic States across the Country for the purpose of caring for victims of human trafficking and other related crimes.
Receiving the NAPTIP Director General, Governor Masari lamented the plight of hundreds of victims of human trafficking and child abuse who often fall prey to the deception of traffickers and directed that the newly inaugurated Task Force should immediately embark on serious sensitization and advocacy especially within the rural areas in order to reduce the vulnerability of the people.
“This is a fundamental problem involving mostly our women and children. They are being deceived into believing that there is a good job for them somewhere outside the Country and thereafter fall prey in the process.
“We need to embark on sensitization and awareness creation. This must involve all stakeholders including the religious leaders, members of the Civil Society Organization including other sister Law Enforcement Agencies.
“We shall support this Task Force with the available resources at our disposal. We need to take this issue of human trafficking very serious”, the Governor said.
In his speech, Director General of NAPTIP, Senator Basheer Garba Muhammed, pointed out that, “the challenges ahead of us are quite enormous. New initiatives must be developed for ensuring adequate resources for the rehabilitation of returnee victims of Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration in order to mitigate both menaces. Bigger and adequately equipped shelters, vocational training facilities, empowerment programmes and scholarships must be put in place for the victims.
“The problem of Human Trafficking and Irregular migration have become International and National concern especially with the large number of Nigerians trapped in sexual and labour exploitation in various African and European countries, apart from the hundreds that continue to die in the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea”, the NAPTIP boss lamented.
Also speaking, the Team Leader of FIIAPP, Mr. Rafael Rios Molina who was represented by Mr. Segun Sanwo, said “FIIAPP is implementing the European Union’s Funded Project known as Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (A-TIPSOM).
The project is part of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) signed between the European Union and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The overall objective of this project is contributing to the series of initiatives of the government of Nigeria towards decreasing the ratio of trafficking in persons (TIP) and smuggling of migrants (SOM) at national and regional level, and between Nigeria and the EU, with specific emphasis on women and children.
“This is done through direct support to Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the civil society organizations represented by the Network against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL)”.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the formal inauguration of the Katsina State Task Force on Human Trafficking by the Governor.