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.
Immigration Steps Up Anti-Touting Vigilance
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Passports Command, Ikoyi, has increased its surveillance on touting in a bid to check extortion within its jurisdiction.
Speaking in an exclusive chat with The Tide in Lagos, last Friday, the Immigration Comptroller, Passports Office, Ikoyi, Lagos, Deputy Comptroller Liman A.I , said the negative impact of touting on the nation’s economy would not be allowed to continue under his watch.
He said ,”we are applying persuasion, dialogue and seeking the support of all well meaning stakeholders in this area to spread the anti-touting message and dissuade people from unlawful acts. However, we could apply coercive power as the need arises.
“With the selfless leadership shown by the Comptroller General, Alhaji Mohammed Babandede, we at the PCO, Ikoyi, Lagos, have decided to re-dedicate ourselves to duty and complement the efforts of the CGIS.
“We are prepared more than ever to wage the anti-miscreants war relentlessly.
Liman assured the general public of friendly environment for legitimate transaction in an effort to strengthen the national economy, warning deviants to shun touting and other related vices.
According to him, “the command has keyed into the various strategies including the use of ICT in gathering of intelligence, among others.
“The service believes that the fight against miscreants within its corridor cannot be undertaken by the service alone, hence our call on Nigerians to partner with us in ensuring that the passport seekers do not patronise touts to defraud them. Our resolve is unshaken and our commitment is total”.
On her part, the Public Relations Officer of the command, a Deputy Superintendent of Immigration (DSI), Mrs Adetoun Shiyindemi, commended the Deputy Comptroller Liman, for his selfless service, pointing out that he has really given the officers and men of the command a sense of belonging.
“Since the Comptroller came in, it has been a servant-leader relationship here at Ikoyi PCO and we are all motivated to put in our best with what the CGIS has given us, you will see a new immigration service”, she assured.
By: NkpemenyieMcdominic, Lagos
Union Urges NIMASA, RSG To Dredge PH/Bonny Jetty
The Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Rivers State Government to dredge the Port Harcourt/Bonny Jetty to enhance marine operations.
The union said the low shore of the river hampers its operations and grounds boats.
The Marine Safety Officer, BMTA, Comrade Kings Don, who made the call, said the low shore of the jetty was not helpful to marine operations.
According to him, drivers and passengers find it difficult to ply the route whenever the tide is low, thus wasting man hours.
“Sometimes, we push the boat to a level it would afloat due to low tide suffered in the jetty. We are appealing to NIMASA and the state government to assist and dredge the jetty for more efficiency”, he pleaded.
Don described the Port Harcourt/Bonny Jetty as the gateway to Bonny Island and other riverine communities, and called on NIMASA and the state government to intervene and make the marine sector viable in the area.
He said that the prompt dredging of the jetty would enhance water transportation in the state and improve its revenue generation.
He, however, commended the security agents, especially the Nigerian Navy and the marine police, for rescuing the waterways and creeks from all forms of criminality.
Comrade Don appealed to the security agents to engage in 24-hour patrol of the routes and other channels to save lives and property.
By: Chinedu Wosu
Boat Mishaps: Ship Owner Blames Absence Of Safety Regulations
A renowned ship owner in the country, Alhaji Aminu Umar, has decried lack of standardisation and enforcement of safety measures on the nation’s inland waterways by the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
He also blamed lack of will to enforce regulations, safety, standard and regulations on overloading, night voyage, rickety and old craft as causes of mishap on the inland waterways.
Alhaji Umar, who is a former president, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), said in Minna, Niger State, recently that enforcement of safety and standard on the nation’s inland waterways was weak.
Reacting to incessant boat mishaps in the country, Umar said, “there is no standard applied on movement of people, as all kinds of boat are being used. It is important that we standardise, because lack of safety and standard will increase accident.
“I think, the task of NIWA is to standardise conditions and procedures on the nation’s waterways”.
He also called for the regulation of movement of badges and passenger boats across the port environment.
“It’s a huge risk allowing badges moving containers around the port area side by side with boats carrying passengers.
“Moving people and containers at the same time is a huge risk, and a safety concern.
“NIWA and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) should see to this and tackle the menace”, he said.
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