By Kingsley Omonobi & Joseph Erunke
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, yesterday identified human trafficking as the major internal security challenge facing Nigeria.
The IGP vowed to engage in regular meetings with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking Persons, NAPTIP, and all other strategic security agencies with a mandate for managing human trafficking and migrant smuggling with a view to strengthening inter-agency collaborative efforts.
Speaking yesterday, in Abuja, at the opening ceremony of the INTERPOL workshop on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings and Migrant Smuggling in Nigeria, Adamu explained that the measure was also aimed at “exploring new pathways that will advance our common drive towards managing this national and global security concern in a coordinated manner.
‘’I will in due course, engage with the Heads of NAPTIP and all other strategic security agencies with a mandate for managing human trafficking and migrant smuggling with a view to strengthening inter-agency collaborative efforts and exploring new ways to advance our common drive towards managing this national and global security concern in a coordinated manner.”
Adamu, who noted that there was a tremendous surge in human trafficking in the country, said “the Nigeria Police, in collaboration with NAPTIP and the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS has been at the forefront in the fight against the menace. It is an appreciation by the Federal Government that the activities of human trafficking and migrants smuggling networks have evolved to become a major internal security challenge in the country.
“Second, it is a clear statement that the government recognises that the consequences of human trafficking and migrants smuggling have critical national security and developmental implications and requires sustained intervention action build on capacity development for security agencies. Third, it symbolizes the firm commitment of the Nigerian government to galvanise all relevant security agencies and strengthen strategic local and global partnerships towards dissecting, developing strategies, and emplacing sustainable action plans towards addressing the threat,” he said.
He recalled that during the 6th INTERPOL Global Conference on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants which was held here in Abuja in September 2018, stakeholders from Nigeria met with top officials from the INTERPOL General Secretariat to discuss modalities for technical assistance in capacity building to combat the scourge of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, saying the “result of that engagement has culminated into this workshop today.”
“This event could not have come at a better time. This is because, in recent times, Nigeria and indeed the continent of Africa have been experiencing a surge in the menace of trans-border trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants,” he said