National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has vowed to tackle illegal recruitment of unsuspecting Nigerians for sexual and labour exploitation in foreign countries.
The information is in a statement signed by Mrs Stella Nezan, the Head, Press and Public Relations unit of the agency on Thursday in Abuja.
Nezan stated that the resolution was reached at the first inaugural meeting of the Board of the agency, presided over by the Chairman, Mr Abubakar Gotomo.
According to her, the board also promised to interface with the leadership of recruitment agencies in Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Labour and other relevant agencies to stem human trafficking.
She added that “the move was also to curtail the disturbing phenomenon which brought pains and agonies to many trafficked victims.”
She said that the board chairman expressed sadness over the activities of self-acclaimed licenced recruitment agencies who continued to ship innocent Nigerians abroad for exploitative purposes.
She quoted him as saying “I want to express the sadness of the entire board over this dangerous and disturbing development where our promising youths both boys and girls are being massively recruited for exploitative purposes.
“Reports emanating from these destination countries are heartbreaking and we cannot fold our hands while our children are daily being destroyed.
“Activities of these labour agencies are inimical to development of the nation, it is a setback to the fight against human trafficking and it just has to stop.”
Gotomo therefore commended NAPTIP Director General, Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, “for the modest achievements in the agency since she resumed, especially in the areas of prosecution, awareness creation and advocacy.”
According to him, the NAPTIP boss, who presented an overview of activities of the agency earlier to the board, emphasised major challenges facing the agency.
He said that Okah-Donli told the board that activities of some of the labour recruitment agencies were frustrating the fight against human trafficking in the country.
He quoted her as saying “activities of some labour recruiters are frustrating Federal Government’s fight against exploitation of our citizens.
“On daily basis, the agency is being inundated with series of calls from distressed Nigerians in destination countries calling for help. They are being mindlessly exploited, harassed and even some of them killed by their so-called masters.
“They refer to them as their slaves and as such they can do anything to them without any mercy, Just some hours ago, there is a new advert on the various social media platforms calling on Nigerians to apply for driving jobs in one of the Middle East countries.
“The said advert promised a lot of unrealistic free offers that are totally false. This is another dimension in the exploitative trend that is designed to massively convey the applicants for sexual exploitation, labour exploitation and even organ harvesting purposes.”
Okah-Donli also said that there was need to stop development of these agencies that were touting unverified recruitment licences and call them to order.
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