Agency collaborates with Airport authority against human trafficking

Mrs. Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) has appealed to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to allow the agency’s personnel in all international airports to conduct their duties.

Okah-Donli made the call when she received a team from FAAN, led by the authority’s Secretary/Legal Adviser, Mr. Clifford Omozeghian, who paid her a courtesy call in Abuja.

She said that for a more robust partnership between the two agencies of the government, NAPTIP officials must be at airports to check activities of human traffickers.“I want a renewed partnership between the agency and FAAN to make smooth the operations of NAPTIP officials at the various airports in the country. I am appealing to FAAN to kindly provide the agency with all necessary assistance to enable the personnel operate at maximum capacity, in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies already working at the airports,” she said.

According to her, NAPTIP officials have been trained and possessed the requisite knowledge to identify potential victims of human trafficking as well as single out suspects from the passengers at the airports.

The director-general added that it is imperative that the agency’s operatives are granted necessary access in line with FAAN’s guidelines.

Meanwhile, Okah-Donli had announced that Nigeria would soon return to the “Tier One’’ status on the United States of America’s rating of countries compliance to the minimum standards in the fight against human trafficking.

She said: “Returning Nigeria to the Tier one position of the trafficking in persons ranking is a top priority of my administration in NAPTIP and we are doing everything possible to return Nigeria to where she belongs. Nigeria has paid her dues in the fight against human trafficking and therefore, has no business remaining on Tier two.”

She stated more efforts must be made to support NAPTIP in this task as getting to that enviable position .She disclosed that she was already leading the agency to various strategic meetings that would turn around the present situation.

Earlier in his remarks, the FAAN Legal Adviser expressed optimism that the agency would bounce back under her leadership, noting that  NAPTIP has made giant strides in line with its objectives towards the eradication of human trafficking in Nigeria.

According to him, the organization’s desire to strengthen the partnership between NAPTIP and FAAN is a welcomed development.

He urged the NAPTIP boss to take all necessary steps to actualize the partnership and protect the rights of all persons at risk of human trafficking.

NAN/Adama.L