By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP)and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) have agreed to work together to save the Niger Delta States from the claws of human traffickers.
In a statement to Leadership from the agency,it states that the proposed collaboration will manifest in massive awareness creation activities, training and empowerment of victims of human trafficking and other intervention programmes are designed to reduce the vulnerability of the Niger Delta Region in terms of human trafficking and illegal migration.
The statement recalled that the Niger Delta region of the Country has continue to earn reputation in the assessment of prevalence of human trafficking in the country prompting NAPTIP to establish Zonal Commands in Benin and Cross Rivers couple with liaison Office in Rivers state.
Speaking during a courtesy visit on the management of the NDDC at its corporate Headquarters in Port Harcourt as part of her maiden official visit to Rivers state, the Director – General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah – Donli disclosed that the Agency is now reloaded to protect the nation from the activities of human traffickers describing them as “enemies of the people”.
The DG explained that all the developmental plans of the Commission in the region may come to naught if conscious efforts are not made to protect young people from the rampaging human traffickers, more so as the Niger Delta States are endemic to human trafficking especially with the coastal nature of the states and the presence of oil workers and expatriates.
She sought the partnership of the Commission in carrying out some activities especially awareness creation and skills acquisition for rescued victims and vulnerable persons in the region.
Drawing NDDC’s attention to the negative effects of human trafficking in the economic wellbeing of the nation especially the States within the Niger Delta, the NAPTIP DG called for better partnership between the two Agencies for the purpose of nation building.
The NAPTIP boss commended the Managing Director/CEO of NDDC and the Commission for the people – centered projects that are changing the stories of the people in Niger Delta region and bringing peace and development within the region.
In his response, the Managing Director/CEO Obong Nsima Ekere pledged the readiness of NDDC to work with the Agency in the region to stem the tide of trafficking.
He said “Your job is quite challenging because you are trying to contain the vices of men. Human trafficking is a challenge to humanity and challenges the very essence of our Christianity”.
While condemning those involved in trafficking he called for an increased engagement between the two Agencies adding that the Commission was ready to partner with NAPTIP as partners in progress. He pledged to look at areas of cooperation with NAPTIP especially for the benefit of the victims and vulnerable ones. ‘We need to keep our people safe and grow the family system’, he added.