*Says 17, 00 victims rescued, 550 traffickers jailed
By Success Nwogu
Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Senator Basheer Garba Muhammed, has expressed mixed feeling over the recent United States Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report which elevated Nigeria from the previous Tier 2 Watch list to Tier 2 ranking.
He stated that the agency is presently studying the report with a view to identifying areas of improvement and scale up the activities of the agency.
He promised to improve synergy and collaboration with stakeholders and partners in order to completely make Nigeria a trafficking free nation even as he scored the Agency high in its operations.
The NAPTIP boss, represented by the Director, Legal and Prosecution Department, Mr. Hassan Tahir, spoke in Abuja on the activities lined up for the 2021 World Day Against Trafficking, according to a statement on Tuesday by NAPTIP’s Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, Stella Nezan.
He, however, said that as at last count, over 550 traffickers have been jailed with many cases at various prosecution stages in courts across Nigeria.
He stated that over 17, 00 victims had been rescued, adding that a good number of them were trained and empowered.Senator Muhammed said,
“Even though we, as an Agency of Government, may not have fully attained all our set goals and objectives due to some notable societal cultural and other hindrances, I am glad to report to you all that we are not where we used to be in terms of ranking and other parameters.
“As you all may have heard and read, Nigeria has now been upgraded to the Tier 2 list in the just released US 2021 TIP Report.
While we have commenced clinical diagnosis of the report with a view to noting areas of improvement, the agency shall continue to work assiduously with all partners and Stakeholders towards the fulfillment of the required minimum standards in the mitigation of human trafficking in the country.
“Secondly, while the agency has continued to rescue, counsel, rehabilitate and empower victims of human trafficking in line with its mandates, traffickers and other sundry offenders are no more having it pleasant as the Agency has continued to smoke them out and prosecute them.
As at last count, over 550 traffickers have been jailed with many cases at various prosecution stages in Courts across the Country.
Over 17, 00 victims have been rescued and a good number of them trained and empowered.
“As a way of boosting the operations of the Agency, NAPTIP has increased its presence and spread to over 12 States and still counting.
Our desire is to infiltrate all parts of the Country in order to outsmart the traffickers and beat them to their tricks.”
The NAPTIP DG disclosed that the week-long event shall also feature unveiling of some landmark projects by the Agency in collaboration with some partners.