No fewer than 2700 Nigerians including victims of human trafficking entered into Austria between January and August 2016. Many of them also entered illegally.
The Austrian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Werner Senfter disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday while on a courtesy visit to the Headquarters of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
‘’Not all of them are legal, of their free will; many with false and wrong hopes and undergoing dangerous journeys’’, he lamented.
He therefore called for stronger ties between Austria and Nigeria especially with NAPTIP to stem the tide of human trafficking and other forms of irregular migration from Nigeria to Austria.
He reiterated his government’s readiness to support NAPTIP in the fight against external trafficking, adding that the Embassy was already supporting a Safe House Project in Abuja though a small one at the moment.
He called on the Agency to come up with ideas that could lead to better and rewarding ties with Austrian authorities, stressing that his visit to NAPTP is to lead to better cooperation between the Embassy and the Agency on one hand and the two countries on the other. ‘’There is a wide range of benefits from cooperation’’, he further added.
In his response, the Ag. Director- General of NAPTIP Alhaji Abdulrazak Dangiri expressed the Agency’s gratitude to the Ambassador and the Austrian Government for their interest in collaborating with NAPTIP especially at this difficult time for many nations.
He stressed that the Agency is battling with internal and external trafficking, and can do with all the support it can get, especially from foreign governments where Nigerians are trafficked to. He expressed NAPTIP’s willingness to work with Austria in ridding the country of illegal migrants and victims of Trafficking in persons whom he believes constitute a problem for the Austrian government.
The visit had in attendance Directors of NAPTIP and the Consul General of the Austrian Embassy, Mrs Karin Pregler.
For: Head, Press and Public Relations.