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By Festus Ahon 

The Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) has commended the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) and the Fundación Internacional Para Iberoamérica de Administración yPolíticas Públicas (FIIAPP) a French agency otherwise known as International and Latin American Foundation of Administration and Public Policies) for facilitating a  three-day training and capacity development aimed at enhancing the standard of reporting template for members of the trafficking in-person media corps which ended on Friday at Keffi, Nasarawa State.

JIFORM, a media foundation comprising over 300 journalists covering migration matters across the continents with headquarters in Lagos noted the training which focused on the prevention strategy for Trafficking In Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) under the Action Against Trafficking In Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (A-TIPSOM) project funded by the European Union (EU) would further boost the confidence of journalists covering TIP and SOM.

Ajibola Abayomi, the President of JIFORM in a statement issued on Sunday was, however, quick to state that Nigerians should not be carried away by the feats achieved by the NAPTIP over the years despite the obvious paucity of funds as there was a need to do more.

He said the TIP has assumed a dangerous dimension inimical to humanity such that every trafficked person was a huge loss to the nation and argued that time had come to cripple the traffickers more by tracking their illicit proceeds and funds as cash flow in and out of Nigeria.

The JIFORM President said for this to happen, there must be a collaboration between the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the NAPTIP. 

 “Every trafficked child is a potential president, governor or future leader. That is why the reportage capturing the injustice to the victims with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book by the media is always very crucial.  Although the narrative on human trafficking is changing for good because NAPTIP is making the nation too hot for human traffickers, we must not pretend on this, for the fight to be sustained, the Federal Government must allow NAPTIP to bear arms because the police have limited personnel with huge responsibilities at hand.

“There is a need to effectively fund the budget of the NAPTIP to enable it to deliver on its mandate, allow its presence in the 774 local governments, empower the agency to recruit more personnel across the nation and work more with the immigration service to strategically monitor the flow of migrants where necessary.

“It is now expedient for the government to stop gambling with the leadership of the agency. The appointment of three Director Generals for NAPTIP in less than six months is not good for stability. Our expectation is that the current DG of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, a reputable Associate Professor of Law with a passion for TIP will be retained for an adequate period to enable her to consolidate on the gains of the agency. In Nigeria, we need both strong leadership and institutions to achieve results.” 

JIFORM noted for advocacy against irregular migration, human trafficking, child and women labour is a global media force championing migrant reportage with a human face, regular migration, diaspora matters, and economic matters associated with migration for the benefits of humanity.

The body was founded in 2018. It initiated an annual global migration summit premiered in Abuja in 2019 and the third edition of the event is slated for Toronto, Canada between February 25 and March 6, 2022. Apart from organising a series of training and workshops for the media and other stakeholders in Nigeria and other countries, the media foundation organised the maiden African Migration Summit in Accra, Ghana between February 26 and 26, 2021 in partnership with Nekotech Centre for Labour Diplomacy, Ghana and initiated the inaugural West African Media Migration Summit in Lome, Togo between June 22 and 23 this year.

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