Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency,
Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has described human trafficking as a
trans-national organized crime of extra-ordinary magnitude that has
continued to plague the nation with the attendant negative narrative.
He said that there must be a deliberate collaboration among State and
Non- State Actors including development partners in order to stamp out
human trafficking in the Country.
The Vice President stated this while delivering a speech at the 25 th National
Stakeholders Consultative Forum on Human Trafficking and Presentation
of National Action Plan on Human Trafficking and other Policy documents
held at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.
Represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice President, Mr.
Ade Ipaye, Professor Osinbajo said, “As we all know by now, human
trafficking is a challenge of extraordinary magnitude. Empirical evidence
shows that it is a multi-billion dollars enterprise with criminals exploiting
their victims over and over. For years, issues of human trafficking have
plagued our country, smearing Nigeria as an origin, transit and destination
“Trafficking in persons and irregular migration is without doubt a National
and International concern especially with the large number of Nigerians
trapped in sexual and labor exploitation in various African and European
countries, all striving for greener pasture.
“Most disturbing is that a 2021 Interpol report titled “Trafficking of Human
Beings for the purpose of Organ Removal in North and West Africa”,
has flagged Nigeria as a country of origin, transit and destination, for
trafficking in persons for organ removal. This is driven largely by the global
shortage of organs for ethical transplant. While organ trafficking exists in all
regions of the world, it is of particular concern in North and West Africa,
where impoverished communities and displaced populations are at greater
risk of exploitation.
“President Muhammadu Buhari led government recognizes the fact that to
prevent human trafficking we need to address poverty, underdevelopment
and a lack of equal opportunity, which means investing in people,
especially the young and disadvantaged.
“It is for this reason that, since 2015, this administration has consistently
developed policies, programs and initiatives targeted at addressing poverty,
providing equal opportunities for women, supporting entrepreneurs and
micro, small and medium businesses, creating jobs for young people and
challenging those fundamental inequalities that leave women and children
vulnerable to human trafficking.
“Consistent with this administration’s resolve to lift at least 100 million
Nigerians out of poverty within a decade, we remain committed to scaling
social investments programmes that would provide livelihood support to our
teeming young men and women as a deliberate strategy to prevent them
from falling easily to the antics of traffickers who are constantly on the
watch for victims they can exploit”, the Vice President said.
In her speech, the Director General of the National Agency for the
Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Dr. Fatima Waziri – Azi,
reiterated the determination of her administration to continue to tackle
human trafficking in the Country through the strict implementation of her
strategic thrusts and ensuring that traffickers are effectively prosecuted.
The Director General disclosed that as part of the efforts to address the
scourge of human trafficking, the Agency has taken further steps in its
partnership base with the collaboration with Facebook in order to expose,
sensitize and swiftly tackle any emerging incidence of human trafficking
online real time.
She stated that “Now, due to the increase in state and interstate trafficking,
buying and selling of children and cryptic pregnancies, NAPTIP has
concluded partnership with Facebook and the National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children, in the United States, to set up Amber Alert Nigeria
where by Facebook sends alerts to targeted Facebook community to help
find missing children in Nigeria on time, real time.
” This initiative which is the second in Africa by Facebook will deliver
AMBER Alerts to people’s News Feeds in targeted search areas after a
child has been abducted and NAPTIP has issued an alert on such an
“These alerts, which include photographs and other details about the
missing child, will be sent to people who use Facebook within
approximately 160km radius of the search area where the child was last
seen. Furthermore, people will be able to share the alert with friends and
link directly to the NAPTIP Child poster, which always has the most up-to-
date information about the case. AMBER ALERT Nigeria will be formally
launched in June here in Abuja” Dr. Fatima Waziri – Azi stated.
On the efforts to gather regional support to smoke out human trafficking
within the West African corridors, the NAPTIP Director General disclosed
that “Between October and December 2021, Nigeria signed Bilateral
Agreements to prevent, suppress and punish, trafficking in persons,
especially women and children, with the Republic of Ivory Coast, Burkina
Faso and a “Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Niger. We
are scheduled to sign another Bilateral Agreement with The Gambia in
June and we are finalizing with South Africa. These partnerships have
proven valuable in supporting Nigeria’s efforts to succeed.”, She said.
She told the participants at the meeting that the Agency “has recorded 510
convictions (13 convictions and counting for the year 2022) and we
currently have 261 ongoing cases in various courts across the country. We
also have 11 ongoing Mutual Legal Assistance cases. Out of the 11, 2
cases are currently being prosecuted in court (Lagos and Benin)
“Till date, the Agency has been able to rescue 17,636 victims of human
trafficking, (394 and counting for the year 2022). In February 2022, with
the support of FIIAPP, we repatriated 15 women from Mali who had been
trapped in forced prostitution for years. There are over 20,000 Nigerian
women and girls in Mali trapped in forced prostitution, forced labor and all
forms of slavery, who want to come back home. As is in many other
African, Arab, Asian and European countries”.
In a remarks deliver by the Head of Programmes, International
Organization for Migration (IOM), Prestage Murima, the sponsor of the
Forum, promised to continue to support programme and policy aimed at
reducing human trafficking and Irregular migration as well as enhancing
effective management of migration in the Country.
The Country Representative of the UNODC, Mr. Oliver Stolpe also
delivered a goodwill message assuring NAPTIP and other Stakeholders of
sustained support in the fight against human trafficking In Nigeria.
In the same vein, the Team Leader of A-TIPSOM/FIIAPP, Mr. Rafeal Rios
Molina lauded the efforts of NAPTIP in the development of the three
policies and pledged its support to the fight against human trafficking and
irregular migration in the Country.
Highpoint of the Meeting was the unveiling and formal presentation of the
three policies namely National Action Plan on Human Trafficking (2022-
2026). National Policy for Protection and Assistance to Victims of TIP
and Protocol for Identification, Safe Return and Reintegration of
Trafficked Persons, by the Vice President.
Dignitaries at the well – attended forum include Heads of other Agencies of
Government, Members of the Diplomatic Community, Sister Law
Enforcement Agencies, Commissioners and Representatives of State
Government of Jigawa, Kogi, Oyo, Delta, Nasarawa, Gombe, Akwa Ibom,
Benue and others.
The Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management
and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq was also represented
at the Forum.
Press and Public Relations unit
28 th April 2022