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NIS, NAPTIP To Engage In Joint Actions Against Human Trafficking And Smuggling Of Migrants In Nigeria

Hard times now await those engaged in crimes of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants as the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) are to engage in joint activities to stem the tide of the twin crimes.

This was the outcome of a high powered strategic meeting in Abuja on Monday 4th February, 2019, between the two organisations. The meeting which had the management of the two organisations in attendance, was jointly chaired by the Comptroller-General of the NIS, Muhammad Babandede, MFR, and the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli.

The meeting was the climax of recent strategic engagements between NAPTIP and NIS personnel aimed at getting to the root of the problems of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Nigeria and how the two organisations can jointly pull resources together to fight the criminal elements.

 To renew synergy and cooperation toward effective implementation of various programmes, legal instruments and policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria aimed at countering human trafficking and migrants smuggling in the country.

 To set up a joint Technical Team that will promote inter – Agency cooperation between the two organizations and deepen synergy for effective intelligence sharing and joint operation for adequate prevention of Human Trafficking and irregular migration.

 To set up an Immigration Desk at NAPTIP for ease of collaboration and also a NAPTIP liaison desk at the NIS for enhanced working relationship.

 To liaise with the appropriate MDAs and work out modalities for the development of implementable Policies on labour importation and export. This is to ensure that migration is not used to enslave Nigerian citizens abroad.

 To jointly intensify surveillance, awareness creation and joint operations with special focus on land, Sea and Air borders as a step toward reduction of illegal migration and trafficking.

 To jointly train and build capacity of Officers and Men of the two Agencies with special attention on identification and profiling of victims of human trafficking.

 To jointly share intelligence and other vital information on human trafficking suspects, suspected human trafficking criminal organization as well as wanted persons with a view to ensuring prompt arrest and prosecution.

 That both Organizations will strictly adhere to the global best practices by discouraging media parade of victims of human trafficking so as to avoid stigmatization and violation of fundamental human rights of the victims.

 The utilization of the existing referral mechanisms as contained in the National Referral mechanism through prompt referral of cases as may be applicable to either of the organizations.

At the commencement of the meeting, the Director-General of NAPTIP called for more stringent actions to be taken by the two Agencies against the criminal gangs involved in the twin crimes. She however pledged to support the NIS with training of its personnel in the area of proper identification of potential victims and suspects of human trafficking.

In his own remarks the Comptroller-General of the NIS expressed the readiness of the Service to work with NAPTIP to ensure that human traffickers get prosecuted and commensurate punishment enforced in line with the law.

The CGI Muhammad Babandede further explained that about 99% of migrants work in Europe and that there should be negotiations on how they can migrate regularly. He also recommended a National Strategic Policy on how to manage trafficking; this will make the two Agencies speak with one voice.

At the end of the meeting both Chief Executives addressed the combined forum of State Comptrollers of Immigration on the need for better collaboration and coordinated actions between the two organisations.

Mr. Adekoye Vincent

DCI Sunday James NIS

6th February, 2019