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.
The UN Office on Drugs