By G9ija

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Monday, in Abuja, commended the European Union for its support in the fight against human trafficking.The Director General of the agency, Mrs Fatimah Waziri-Azi, gave the commendation at an award and speech making day organised by the International Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).FIIAPP is a Spanish public agency implementing a project in Nigeria tagged “Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (A-TIPSOM)”, aimed at eliminating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.Waziri-Azi said that the support NAPTIP had received from the EU over the years had assisted the agency to achieve significant milestones in the fight against human trafficking.

She said that NAPTIP would forever remain grateful to FIIAPP over the A-TIPSOM project, adding that collaboration like this was a reminder that partnerships can make a difference.“Human trafficking is not only a problem, it is a crises. Empirical evidence shows that it has become the third largest criminal enterprise globally and second amongst transnational organised crime.“It is a crime in which the potential victims and allies are completely ignorant about the dangers that await them over their choices. It is portrayed by the traffickers as the best choice to end the circle of poverty in a family.“It is for these reasons that the Federal Government of Nigeria ratified all the conventions on human trafficking including the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its two related protocols in 2000.“It also ratified the enactment of the trafficking in persons prohibition enforcement and administration Act 2003, as amended in 2015.

The Act established NAPTIP as the specialised anti-trafficking agency with prosecutorial powers,” she said.Waziri-Azi stated that NAPTIP was stepping up its efforts by applying 24 hours all hands-on-deck approach to all cases of trafficking in persons, as well as prioritising the prosecution of high profile traffickers, and enhancing the prevention of trafficking, through sustained awareness creation.She said that the agency was in the final stages of developing the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria 2022-2025 with Switzerland and technical support from the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC) that would strengthen training of officers.She, therefore, solicited the continued support of all stakeholders, saying that everybody had a role to play and that NAPTIP would continue to scale-up access to justice for people.On his part, the A-TIPSOM team leader in Nigeria, Mr Rafael-Rios Molina, said that his foundation would continue  supporting the federal government in the fight against human trafficking through A-TIPSOM, announcing that its official partnership with the government had been extended for additional one year.According to him, A-TIPSOM began in 2018, through an agreement between the EU and the Government of Nigeria, to address trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

He said that FIIAPP would continue to support the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria. through the support of EU.On the award for speech making and essay competition, on trafficking, a total of 300 entries were received by FIIAPP, while award was given to three finalists from Reginal Pacis College, Abuja.The awardees were Chidinma Nwosu, Anayo Rosemary and Ikpeme Christabel, who emerged first, second and third respectively, while others from Government Secondary School, Wuse and Tudun Wada also received awards.