The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has secured no fewer than 379 convictions of traffickers since the criminalisation of the offence in 2003.
The Director of Public Enlightenment of the agency, Mr Orakwe Arinze, disclosed this on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu.
Arinze spoke on the sidelines of a media dialogue with Nigerian editors and heads of media establishments organised by International Organisation on Migration (IOM).
He said that the menace was endemic in the country to the extent that Nigeria had become a source and destination for traffickers.
He said that the agency had also expanded the frontiers of conversations on human trafficking to ensure that Nigerians were abreast of the ills associated with the menace.
“Since 2013 when the issue of human trafficking was criminalised, NAPTIP has secured the conviction of 379 traffickers for their crimes against human right dossier of their victims.
“Since then it has been a milestone of success. In 2005, the law was amended and we brought the issue of criminalising house helps and establishment of brothels because these are receptacles on how children are abused,” he said.
Arinze said that human trafficking involved both local and foreign dimensions, adding that every state of the federation was endemic.
He attributed the menace to greed and loss of societal values on the part of the perpetrators.
“The family is at the centre of it all and we are losing it as a people. When did the child become the bread winner of the family?
“This is destroying the future of our country and we should start holding the relevant institutions accountable including our politicians for not providing our basic needs,” he said.
Arinze noted that the rate Nigerians were dying while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of greener pastures was alarming.
He therefore called on the media to start talking about the menace, adding that Nigerians needed not to wait until the country was completely destroyed. (NAN)