By Chiemelie Ezeobi
Although the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria has not relented, about 30,000 Nigerians in Italy and across Europe are said to be involved in sex trade.
The Comptroller-General (CG) of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, made this disclosure over the weekend at Sheba Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos during the 23rd Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN) annual lecture and award ceremony.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Solving security problems through intelligence’, Babandede noted that through intelligence, the porous borders will be better manned and child trafficking and arms proliferation would be checked.
He said, “Many of our children are being trafficked to other countries for child labour and sex slavery, but if there is proper intelligence, the crime would have been nipped in the bud.
“It is pathetic to note that some Nigerians are not aware that trafficking of persons is a grievous criminal offence on the same scale like terrorism, kidnapping, robberies and militancy.
“As we are speaking, about 30,000 Nigerians in Italy and Europe are involved in sex hawking for money.
“I call on the government to collaborate with other countries in the area of intelligence. As for Nigeria Immigration Service, we will work with other sister agencies in the area of intelligence as it is the best tool to fight crime.”
Also, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, said to defeat the war on crime, security agencies should apply intelligence as the fight against crime has gone beyond carrying arms.
The IGP also said that to fight crime, there must be sincere synergy among the sister agencies and collaboration between Nigeria and other neighbouring countries.
Idris who was represented by the Assistant Inspector General Of Police(AIG) in charge of Zone Two Police Command, Lagos, Kayode Aderanti, said “Our intelligence gathering will make us proactive, rather than being reactive.
“To achieve this, we need to work together with sister agencies. We must share intelligence. The police must work together with other sister agencies while we will also collaborate with our neighbouring countries in the area of intelligence if the war against criminals will succeed.
“Whether it is insurgency, armed robbery, cyber crime, kidnapping and other crimes, we must be intelligence driven, because,the world is advancing.
“As the world is advancing, so also criminals are going sophisticated. We need intelligence to tackle security challenges.”
The guest lecturer, Dr. Bone Efoziem, who doubles as the MD/CEO Strict Guard Security Ltd, said the problem of insecurity would be solved by policy formation and implementation through proper intelligence gathering.
He said intelligence practice by concept and nature is pro-active and therefore, is concerned with crime prevention rather than crime combating.
Efoziem said it’s cheaper in both human and material cost to prevent crime through intelligence than combating it.
He said, “Asides from information gathering, the national Assembly must do something urgent to stop political office holders, especially the governors from eating security votes and channel it to solve security related issues.”
Another security expert, Mr. Ubong King, MD/CEO of Protection Plus Service Ltd said, :”With an estimated 135 million out of the I80 million people below the age of 45 years jobless, crime trends could continue to be on the rise.
“With the galloping population, our society is fast becoming a technologically driven one in terms of criminality, so, we need to be intelligence driven.
“I call on security agencies to share intelligence if they want to win the war on criminality.”
The royal father of the day, Oba Abdul-Rasheed, Olowo of Iwo land, in his talk said cultism is the bedrock of crime and one of the major causes of insecurity and should be banned by the government.
He said, “A father who belongs to secret cult will not have the moral courage to advise his son to shun cultism. I am calling those who are members of secret cults to denounce it or risk the law of the land.
“Once the problem of cultism is solved,armed robbery, kidnapping, street fights and other vices will reduce drastically.”
Meanwhile, the Chairperson CRAN Planning Committee, Chiemelie Ezeobi said the lecture was geared towards solving security challenges through intelligence.
She said the topic was aptly chosen in the light of the escalating state of insecurity, created by kidnappers, terrorists, militants, armed robbers, hired killers and other sundry criminal elements in the society.