NAPTIP: About 3m Young Nigerians Currently Held in Sexual Labour

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Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has revealed that about three million young Nigerians are currently held in sexual labour within the country and other parts of the world.

The Director General of NAPTIP, Julie Donly-Okah, made this disclosure yesterday in Abuja while appearing before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Diaspora for the defence of the agency’s 2020 budget estimates.

She lamented that the ugly development requires a robust response from the government, stressing that the fight against human trafficking cannot be over-emphasised, describing it as an organised and versatile crime, which is used that to finance terrorism and drug trade in the country.

Donly-Okah said the challenges confronting the agency are enormous, especially with the upsurge in migration to Europe from the Middle East and parts of Africa, including Nigeria.

She stated: “The challenges confronting NAPTIP are quite enormous, and this has been exacerbated by the current upsurge in migration to Europe from the Middle East and parts of Africa, especially Nigeria.

“The latest estimate indicate that three million young Nigeria are held in sexual labour and other forms of slavery internally and in various parts of the world. And this certainly needs a robust response from our government, which enjoys enormous goodwill globally.”

Donly-Okah explained that N33 million, which is meant to be the capital budget of the agency is grossly inadequate.

She said that the budget proposed by the agency for 2020 takes into account the economic situation of the country, while the 2020 budget would also concentrate on the core areas that would enable the agency fulfill its mandate in view of the national and global expectations.

Meanwhilele, the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has lamented the commission has not received any money from the N400 million appropriated to the commission in 2019 Appropriation Act.

She said that even though, the commission is the youngest parastatal in the country, it has achieved notable milestones in its short existence, despite having enormous funding constraints.

Dabiri-Erewa disclosed this while appearing before the House Committee on Diaspora Affairs on Tuesday in Abuja.

She stated: “We’re barely six months old because my confirmation spent eight months at the Senate and eventually sailed through in May, even though the secretary had resumed work before then. And we have done so much within these six months despite all odds. We have nothing with regards to funding outside the N100million we got from Mr. President as a take-off.”