Mrs Fatima Waziri, Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), says the agency has secured 631 convictions since its establishment.
Waziri, made this known while speaking with newsmen during the workshop for its Public Relations Officers (PROs) and Public Enlightenment Officers (PEO) on Wednesday in Lagos.
Waziri said that the number of convictions in 2022 was the highest since the agency’s inception.
“In 2022, we are able to secure 80 convictions, which was the highest since the inception. As at today in 2023, we have secured 55 convictions and still counting.
“For the first time on March 8, we extradited a high profile human trafficker back to Italy to serve her 13 years sentence.
“This we did in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Department of State Security, Interpol and Nigeria judiciary.
“Three weeks ago, for the first time, we secured the conviction of a high profile criminal, a Nigerian based in Belgium, responsible for trafficking girls all over Europe.
“He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and a fine of N24 million,” she said.
Waziri noted that this accomplishment not only sends a strong message to the perpetrators of human trafficking but also serves as a deterrent to potential offenders
According to her, the agency has successfully rescued and received over 22,000 victims, demonstrating its commitment to combating the heinous crime.
“In 2022, we are able to rescue and receive more than 2,700 victims more higher than 2021,” she said.
Waziri said that in term of rehabilitation, NAPTIP had supported about 20 victims of human trafficking up to university level.
“Out of the 20, we have three working in the agency and recently we were able to recruit three former victims to work.
“That is one of the reasons NAPTIP was established, not only to prosecute or prevent but also to protect victims,” she said.
The director-general appealed to all Nigerians support the agency to eradicate the menace.
“Let us all see the issue of human trafficking as our problem. As at
today, every state in Nigeria is affected, though trend, patten and the propotionality may differ but everyone is affected.
“As a Nigerian, if you see something, say something by reporting, educate yourself on issue of human trafficking, and know what the red signs are.
“We have a 24-hour call centre, we have our toll-free line which is 07030000203.
“We have a short code 67 which is available on the MTN network, we have our social media handles, which is naptipnigeria on facebook, on X and on Instagram.
“For anyone who has extra time or resource and want to support, please support the organisations that work in human trafficking and violence aganist persons,” she said. (NAN)