NAPTIP DG calls for closer collaboration among LEAs

The Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba has said that proper collaboration amongst Law Enforcement Agencies remains the panacea for effective crime prevention in Nigeria.

The Director General made this statement today in Abuja at a meeting of stakeholders for the formal presentation and dissemination of the Agency's institutional and operational assessment carried out by independent consultants. The assessment was done under the project: Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria by Combating and Reducing Irregular Migration that occurs, inter alia, through Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants sponsored by the European Union.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC), European Union, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Police Force, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Ministry of Women Affairs, and the Network of Civil Society Organization against Child Trafficking Abuse and Labour (NACTAL).  

According to the Director-General, many crimes are related to each other and therefore, needs closer relationship between Law Enforcement Agencies to deal with them.

The NAPTIP boss said the most critical weakness preventing full compliance to the report of the assessment concerns the current legal restriction on NAPTIP prosecutors in respect of trafficking-related offences that are not specifically contained in the NAPTIP Act i.e. offences such as rape, threats to life, aggravated physical and/or psychological injury, production and presentation of false identity and or travel documents, membership of organized criminal structures, money laundering etc. These offences according to her are in the Penal and Criminal codes, and can be prosecuted adequately by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).

The Director-General explained that the assessment process re-affirmed the legislative framework, mandate and structure of NAPTIP adding that the Agency continued to represent the most comprehensive and integrated model that currently exists in global terms.

She however, thanked the European Union and the UNODC for their support to NAPTIP over the years and pledged that the outcome of the report which is already being implemented will help the Agency in its bid to providing better service delivery to the nation.

Mrs. Jedy-Agba used the occasion to congratulate the Nigeria Immigrations Service on the recent passage of its new legislation. She pledged the Agency's continued commitment to working with them in the actualization of the content of the new Act, adding that the rate of illegal migration was alarming and requires urgent attention.

In his own remarks, the Programme Manager, European Union, Mr. Philippe Peyredieu Ducharlat commended NAPTIP on its activities. He however expressed the willingness of the European Union to continue to support NAPTIP in capacity building and other areas.

Also Speaking, the Head, Programme Support Unit of the UNODC Mr. Polleak Ok Serei, commended NAPTIP for its commitment and passion in curbing Trafficking In Persons in Nigeria and beyond by carrying out targeted awareness campaign activities in all the project states. UNODC according to him has supported the Agency since it's inception in 2003 and provided technical support in the amendment of the legislation as well as assisted in developing and finalizing policy documents.

He stated that the objective of the Institutional and operational assessment of NAPTIP was to provide appropriate mechanisms and processes for reflecting on any gaps in NAPTIP's mandate and activities.

 

For more information, please contact:

Sylvester Atere, Outreach and Communication Officer, UNODC Nigeria

Tel: 234 701 6839158; Email: sylvester.atere@unodc.org