FG Orders Audit of Anti-Human Trafficking NGOs

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Segun James

The federal government has ordered the immediate audit of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in the area of human trafficking, following reports that some organisations purporting to be involved in fighting human trafficking in the country do not exist or where they do, their details, including addresses, were falsified.

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in a statement lamented that some organisations purporting to be involved in counter trafficking in Nigeria have become a cause for concern as the Agency is inundated with requests from organisations abroad for confirmation of the existence of some organisations fighting human trafficking in the country.

The order, which was on the directive by the National Security Adviser to the President, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd), stated that all NGOs in Nigeria must get clearance from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to operate in the country, while asking that all the NGOs and consultants working in the area of trafficking in persons must comply without further delay.

“By this notice, all concerned organisations are to visit the Headquarters of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Abuja or the Agency’s Zonal Commands nearest to them for necessary documentation. This will be done in collaboration with the Network of CSOs Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) with Headquarters in Abuja,” Josiah Emerole, head of Press and Media, NAPTIP stated.

Emerole said the directive became necessary because of the “activities of some organisations purporting to be involved in counter trafficking in Nigeria have become a cause for concern to us, as on a daily basis, the Agency is inundated with requests from organisations abroad for confirmation of the existence of some organisations fighting human trafficking in the country. In most cases, the organisations concerned do not exist or where they do, all the details provided, including addresses were found to be falsified.

“It is worthy of note that NAPTIP by virtue of the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015 is among other things, empowered to enforce and administer the provisions of the Act; co-ordinate and enforce all other laws on Trafficking in Persons and related offences; establish co-ordinated prevention, regulatory and investigatory machinery geared towards the eradication of trafficking in persons; co-ordinate, supervise and control the protection, assistance and rehabilitation of trafficked persons etc and we do not hope to shirk these responsibilities.” NAPTIP lamented that “the fight against human trafficking is a fight for the soul of our nation which the youths who are more vulnerable represent.

These victims should not be seen as commodities for making money, and if they have been rescued from exploitations, they must not be exploited further by those who claim to be providing help to them.”