To tackle human trafficking, Cross River’s Gov. Ayade set-up task force
By Our reporter
Aug. 28, 2020 – As part of efforts to tackle human trafficking, Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River on Friday inaugurated the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Task force in the state.
Ayade who attributed unemployment as a major cause of human trafficking said his administration was trying to tackle the problem from its root by solving the challenge of joblessness.
The governor was represented by his deputy, Prof. Iyara Esu, tasked the members of the Task Force to come up with modalities on how to check the scourge.
Ayade said “This is one of the main reasons why as a governor, I have so many appointees and also set up the Migration Control Services Agency, the essence was to put food on the table for as many people as possible and also curb illegal migration.
“With the inauguration of the task force today, we hope to work with NAPTIP to curb human trafficking and its effects on the state.
Ayade urged members of the task force to put in their best adding that whatever they required to make their work successful, they should reach out to the state government and to also provide quarterly reports of their activities.
Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli said that between 2004 and 2007, NAPTIP established State Working Groups on Human Trafficking under the State Governments to share information.
Okah-Donli said part of the group’s function was to carryout sensitisation programmes and forge strategies to combat trafficking within their domains but the gains of the initiative could not be harnessed due to its discontinuation by state governors who came into power in 2007.
She said the problem of human trafficking and irregular migration had become a great national concern especially with the large number of Nigerians trapped in sexual and labour exploitation in various nations.
“In December 2018, NAPTIP undertook a fact-finding mission to Mali and discovered more than 20,000 young Nigerian girls who are victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation in bush camps around Mali’s mine fields.
“Almost all the states in Nigeria are affected by migration and human trafficking but Cross River is endemic for trafficking of children for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation in brothels.