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NAPTIP rescues 21,000 human trafficking victims in two decades – DG

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has revealed that it has rescued and received 21,181 victims of the crime since its inception 20 years ago.

The Director General of NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, disclosed this while presenting the 2024 budget proposal of the agency to the Senate Committee on Social Duties.

She said the agency provides various forms of support to the victims, such as legal, medical, rehabilitation, and reintegration services. She noted that this process is costly and time-consuming.

Waziri also gave a breakdown of the number of victims rescued and received by the agency in the past three years.

 “From January to November 2023, we have already rescued and received 2,200 victims.

“Our shelter in Lagos has so far received the highest number of victims, followed by Katsina because of the borders, Kano and FCT shelters,” she said.

She said the agency’s shelters in Lagos, Katsina, Kano, and FCT have received the highest number of victims. According to her, Benue, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Kano, and Imo states have recorded the highest number of rescued victims in 2021 and 2022.

The Director General also highlighted the achievements of the agency in prosecuting human traffickers. She noted that the agency secured 80 convictions in 2022, which was the highest in a single year.

“As part of our prosecuting mandate, last year, we secured 80 convictions, which was the highest in any single year since inception.

“Since this year began, we have already secured 63 convictions and counting, including the conviction of a high-level trafficker in Benin that was responsible for trafficking 12 girls to Belgium for human trafficking and sexual exploitation,” she stated

Speaking further, she said the agency also secured the conviction of a Lebanese national who was involved in trafficking and exploiting Nigerian girls. 

So in 20 years, NAPTIP has secured  639 convictions and counting, and on March 8, for the first time in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Interpol, the Italian government, a high-profile trafficker, Charity Omoye, was extradited to Italy to serve her 13 years sentence.”

“In 2022, the agency received 1,462 human trafficking complaints which was plus 31 .9 per cent from the number received in 2021.

“This has caused a serious strain on our human and financial resources and the challenges confronting the organization are enormous.”

 “Effort would be made in the areas of budgetary allocation to the organisation given the vantage role it played in the society.”

The chairman of the committee, Senator Shehu Kaka, commended the agency for its efforts and promised to visit its offices for oversight. 

 

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