By Bashir Bello
KANO— No fewer than 107 human trafficking victims have been rescued at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, MAKIA, while attempting to travel abroad for greener pastures.
The Zonal Commander, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Shehu Umar disclosed this in an interview with Vanguard on Monday.
Umar said the victims, all females and within the age bracket of six years to 32 years were rescued at the airport on their way to Saudi Arabia and Lebanon for greener pastures.
He said victims, which include six non-Nigerian (five Nigerien and one Ghanaian) were intercepted during the command’s operations at the airport area.
The Zonal Commander also decried lack of adequate funds which he said has continued to hamper its operations.
According to him, “during our operations at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, MAKIA, between 2017 and July 7, 2020, we have rescued 107 human trafficking victims.
“In 2017, we rescued seven victims. Between 2018 and 2019 we rescued 80 victims, while from January to July 7, 2020, we rescued 20 victims. The victims, all females were between the age brackets of six years to 32 years.
There are six non-Nigerian (five Nigerien and one Ghanian) among them. They were intercepted on their way to Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Most of them are used as housemaids.
“From 2016 till date, the command had also been able to rescue and rehabilitate 1,489 victims ages between six and 25 years. Out of the rescued victims, 1,022 were females while the remaining 467 were males.
“There are a lot of challenges bedevilling the operations of the agency, including inadequate funds and resources as well as lack of adequate data on human trafficking issues, lack of operational vehicles and other facilities to mention but a few.”