The UN Office on Drugs
and Crime (UNODC) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), have sought collaboration with transporters to combat human trafficking.
The Country Representative of UNODC, Cristina Albertin, who dropped the hint at a workshop in Abuja, stressed the need to engage the transporters as all the victims of human trafficking were aided by them.
He appealed to the transporters to contact the relevant agencies when they notice people who are being trafficked through dedicated numbers.
“This may help to rescue such innocent people; every little information is important to save the lives of the victims, “ he said.
The Country Representative expressed regret that Nigeria had huge numbers of trafficked persons crossing into European countries daily.
He also lamented the huge number of Nigerians who got drowned in the Mediterranean Sea and those who lost their lives in the Sahara Desert trying to reach Europe.
Albertin said the EU was committed to funding the project: “Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria“ because Europe is the destination of most people trafficked from Nigeria.
Represented by Mr Mikael Jensen, Albertin regretted that young Nigerians who could have been productive at home were wasting away in Europe.
“Nigeria is far from EU but we see what many young people from Nigeria go through in Europe; they go through traumatic experiences.
“We feel it is better to stop them here before they die on their way to Europe or get deported when they get to Europe, “ he said.
In her remarks, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, described human trafficking as “clear and present danger“ to the country.
Jedy-Agba, who was represented by the Director, Public Enlightenment of NAPTIP, Mr Orakwe Arinze, said that the support of the transport sector was critical to combating human trafficking.
The workshop: “Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria“ seeks to promote better cooperation with the transport carriers because some of those involved in human trafficking are transporters.
“Those people who are trafficked are moved from one point to another with the aid of the transporters.
“So, this workshop is to engage you and hear what contributions and solutions that you can proffer to this menace, “ she said.
The NAPTIP boss noted that no fewer than 200,000 Nigerians were in Morocco, trying to cross to Europe while there are about 40,000 Nigerians trafficked to Mali.
Speaking on behalf of transporters, Mr Emmanuel Chukwu from Ekene Dili Chukwu Transport Company, attributed some of the cases of human trafficking to the nation‘s prevailing economic situation.
Chukwu, therefore, called on the international community to support Nigeria to alleviate poverty among the citizens.
Also speaking, Mr Mac Nwoku from Chisco Transport Company, called for more anti-human trafficking awareness among the drivers and the citizens.
Nwoku pledged Chisco’s partnership with NAPTIP and UNODC to ensure that its vehicles are not used to aid trafficking in persons.
Nasarawa Accident: Death Toll Rises To 18
The death toll from the accident that occurred on Akwanga-Nassarawa Eggon federal highway last Sunday has risen to 18, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has confirmed.
, Nasarawa state sector commander of the FRSC Mr Ismaila Kugu told newsmen in Lafia on Monday that the accident involved an articulated vehicle and a commuter bus belonging to Benue Links Transport Company.
Kugu said 13 persons had died on the spot while 11 others got injuries and were taken to hospitals in Nassarawa Eggon and Lafia.
“As at this evening (Monday) when we went for follow up, five of the 11 injured persons we took to the hospitals for treatment have died,” he said.
Kugu said the Corps Marshal, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, had ordered a full investigation into the accidents on the Akwanga – Nassarawa Eggon axis in view of the recent upsurge in cases resulting in fatalities.
He recalled that a similar accident had occurred in the same axis on September 9, resulting in the death of 11 persons.
“It is quite disheartening to lose 29 souls to road crashes on a particular route within one week,” Kugu added.
He urged commuters, especially commercial drivers, to exercise caution and patience while plying the route because of its narrow and rough nature.
Kugu also expressed the need for vehicle owners to give more attention to the maintenance of their vehicles, especially trucks, in order to avert some of the accidents. Meanwhile, some commuters have expressed worry over the increasing loss of lives due to crashes on the Lafia-Nasarawa Eggon-Akwanga road and called for urgent attention from relevant authorities.
Mr Friday Ozonue, a commercial bus driver, attributed the accidents to the narrow nature of the road and recklessness of truck drivers.
Another commercial driver, Malam Bala Adamu, blamed most of the carnage on speeding and dangerous overtaking.
Delta Begins Repair Of Federal Roads
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has said that the state government has commenced repairs of dilapidated Federal Government roads in the state.
Okowa disclosed this at a thanksgiving service for the state Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro at Christ Embassy, Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area of the state, on Sunday.
The governor said that the state government got approval from the Federal Government last Thursday to intervene in the repairs of some of the dilapidated portions of some federal roads in the State.
According to him, contractors have been drafted to the roads to carry out rehabilitation adding that palliative work has started on the Benin-Sapele road portion.
He also said that repairs had started at the Asaba end from the River Niger side of the Bridge on the Asaba-Onitsha highway.
The governor assured that the Agbor- Abraka-Eku road, which was also in a deplorable state would be rehabilitated.
“I know that Deltans are unhappy with the deplorable state of federal roads across the state. We may not have the resources to do the roads but we can do palliative work on them.
“After applying for permission from the Federal Government to embark on the rehabilitation of these failed portions of the roads in the state, we got approval three days ago and we have deployed contractors to commence work on the very bad spots,” Okowa said.
The governor said that there were many reasons for his administration to be thankful to God, explaining that were not disappointed with the outcome of the last elections.
Earlier in his remark, Otuaro said that God gave them the victory following the overwhelming support from the people of the state.
He acknowledged the traditional rulers and the clergy and called for more prayers for the state government and the nation.
Otuaro reaffirmed the determination of the Okowa administration to bequeath a “stronger Delta” to the people.
The Pastor of the church, Eddy Owase, in his sermon, said thanksgiving would only be meaningful when the people established a good relationship with God.
In attendance were former governor of the state, James Ibori, Sen. James Manager and Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Sheriff Oboreuwori, among others.
Transport Company Empowers 25 Drivers With Buses
A privately-owned transport company, ‘PlentyWaka’, has empowered 25 of its drivers with buses, saying it wants to change the face of commercial transportation in Lagos State with innovative technologically-driven bus transportation system.
The company’s Director, Mr Onyeka Akuma, made this known to newsmen in Lagos, yesterday.
Akuma explained that the ‘Plentywaka’ is a technology bus-driven system that connected the company’s drivers to their buses, while offering comfort, safety and convenience during their daily rides’’.
He said the company recently flagged off PlentyWaka pilot phase in Lagos State, plying Ajah to CMS to announce the transport business model.
Akuma noted that the system was unique in the sense that there was a policy in which the company signed a three-year contract.
He noted that the contract made it possible for about 25 of the company’s drivers to become owners of the buses they drive for the company.
According to Akuma, the drivers will be allowed to own the buses after three years, provided they keep the bus in top notch condition through regular maintenance.
“This transport model is different from other models because while other models are money-oriented alone, we are seeking to empower the drivers and create jobs to stem unemployment in our country.
“We are particular about the values we are creating to society as against making money alone. This makes us unique and different from other technologically-driven transport model.
“Our drivers will be happy that they have been given the opportunity to eventually own brand new vehicles in spite of being paid every month for the operation of the bus.
“This value addition for them is the exciting thing we are bringing on board,’’ he said.
Akuma, said that individuals could cash-in on the development by sponsoring some of the buses.
“With N60,000, you can be a part owner of a bus and get 22 per cent annually on Return on Investments. This is how we get investments for the buses,’’ he said.
Akuma said that the company would continue to connect with the communities where it operates with the planned installation of traffic lights and sign posts in designated areas to improve the transport systems within communities.
PlentyWaka’s Managing Director, Johnny Enagwolor, said the view initiative is the next step for the future of the transport system in Lagos.
“Having access to safe, convenient and accessible transportation options is crucial to reducing bad driving, crashes and possible eventualities.
“What we are trying to eradicate totally is the issue of stress associated with public transport generally”, he said.
Enagwolor said that the company had the support of the major stakeholders in the transport industry such as the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Lagos State Transportation Management Authority (LASTMA) and the Police.
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