By George Onah
The Nigerian Immigration Service has decried the reactivation of slavery and slave trade through human trafficking and child labour with international networks where Nigerians have been traffickers and victims as well.
As a result of the high frequency of trafficking in persons and child labour, the service said the practice has caused the stigmatisation of Nigerians in world view and has become a huge embarrassment to the nation.
The service praised the legal commitment of the country in establishing the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Person and other Related Matters as well as ratifying the flurry of legal frameworks for the combat against traffic in person and the child rights Act.
It, however, regretted that its hands were tied by the “legal and administrative limitations as well as inadequacies as veritable partners “of the sole body set up to combat the crime because the Immigration Acts of 1963 and other legal documents have not adequately accommodated the security challenges of trafficking persons and child labour.
Disclosing the development in a communique in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, after the Immigration Stakeholders’ Conference, it said “the situation has thus intensified the call by the NIS for among other things, the establishment of immigration courts to take care of these security presentations.
Further, the service said there was “the need to make all the country’s 147 approved land border control posts operational, in order to checkmate irregular migration, human trafficking and trans-border crimes.
The communique reeled out scores of constraints “mitigating against the performance of the NIS, including inadequate funding, lack of opportunities for the personnel to administer visa in many of Nigeria’s diplomatic missions abroad.
There is also the present challenge of the service to reduce the influx of irregular immigrants, most of whom are of the Asian extradition into the country by way of quota trafficking. Also, the need to fully computerize NIS with regards to the expatriate quota administration”.
Participants agreed that “there is need for attitudinal change on the part of security operatives, particularly immigration officers which will enhance the rights and dignity of Nigerians and indeed all immigration publics in a democratic environment”.