Job seekers: NAPTIP D-G cautions desperate Nigerians against irregular migration
By Aderogba George
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) has again cautioned Nigerians against irregular migration in seeking for better jobs abroad.
The Director-General of the agency, Prof Fatima Waziri-Azi, gave the advice at the special edition of the agency’s online interactive programme tagged “Conversation with NAPTIP”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was put together as part of activities to mark the Agency’s 20th anniversary, and to mark the 2023 World Day Against Human Trafficking.
The conversation with NAPTIP is a specially designed platform that promotes mutual interaction between the agency and stakeholders for the purpose of enlightenment and receiving feedback about the Agency’s services.
“Some of the Agency’s achievements within the past 20 years include the conviction of 624 traffickers, rescue of over 22, 000 victims and development of counter trafficking policies, among others.
“We are committed to protecting Nigerians against human trafficking, violence against persons and other forms of exploitation.
“The agency will continue to expand its operational horizon through improved and enhanced partnership with all stakeholders as well as diligent prosecution of offenders, to outsmart the criminal elements,” the director-general said.
According to her, human trafficking has assumed a national spread across the country with the emerging trends of increased online catfishing of youngsters by traffickers, fake job offers and advertorials.
She added that traffickers had even gone to the extent of offering fake scholarship; increasing trafficking under the cover of sporting activities and orphanages; and buying and selling of babies.
“In the past 20 years, the crime of human trafficking has evolved in terms of trends and patterns. But, one thing I can say for sure is that Nigeria is better poised to tackle the issues of human trafficking.
According to her, NAPTIP has been able to work effectively through partnerships with global anti-trafficking Law Enforcement Agencies and corporate bodies such as Meta, owner of Facebook, and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
On the nagging issues of mass exodus of Nigerians abroad, Waziri-Azi appreciated the efforts to seek for alternative greener pastures, but urged them to be mindful of Red Flags associated with human trafficking to avoid exploitation.
“If you must Japa, Japa the right way. Migrate legally. Nobody is saying you should not travel. Nobody is saying you should not aspire to be more than what you are now.
“However, everyone aspiring to travel abroad for greener pastures must do his or her homework and research well, and also pay attention to the “Red Flag” of human traffickers.
“They change your name, they changed your age, they changed your date of birth, that is a red flag.
“When someone tells you that I want to take you to Italy, and the next thing is that you see yourself in a bus going to Seme border or you see yourself going through Jibia border, that in itself is a red flag.” she stressed.
She appreciated all NAPTIP partners for their sustained support and collaboration with the agency since its creation, saying that her projection was to make the agency, a foremost counter-trafficking agency within the comity of nations.
She noted that this could only be possible through the potent implementation of all the relevant laws, and ensuring that Nigeria was safe from all forms of trafficking and exploitation. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Abdulfatai Beki/Oluyinka Fadare