…..secures 80 convictions.

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has said a record 1,440 cases of human trafficking were received in 2022, with 80 persons convicted.

Addressing a media conference on Tuesday, the director-general of NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri -Azi, said there were 412 external trafficking cases (28.6 percent) and 1,028 internal trafficking cases (71.4 percent), adding that 2,743 victims were rescued in collaboration with other sister law enforcement agencies.

In the first two months of 2023 alone, the agency said it has secured 17 convictions and, cumulatively, it has secured 592 convictions since its first conviction in 2004, adding that they also have 262 cases in various courts across the country.

The press conference was also attended by the Officer of the High Commission of Canada, in Abuja.

A breakdown of the figures showed that male children were 233 (8.5 percent); female children-688 (25.1 percent); male adults -363 (13.2 percent); and female adults -1,459 (53.2 percent).

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Victims of inward trafficking were 45, that is, victims trafficked into Nigeria. Returned victims from abroad were 251 and Intercepted victims were 1,484, that is, those who were on their way out of Nigeria.

“Most of these victims are trafficked by road through our borders all across the country. We also secured 80 convictions in 2022; 45 males and 35 females,” she stated.

Prof Waziri -Azi appreciated the Canadian government for supporting the efforts of the federal government noting that the Canadian government has recently supported several strategic interventions targeted at controlling the scourge of human trafficking in Nigeria and has remained one of NAPTIP’s dependable partners and allies.

“One of such strategic intervention is the 2018 and 2021 projects which supported the co-development of a NAPTIP strategic communication policy; the training of NAPTIP’s officers on result-oriented and impactful communication strategies; data collection and analysis on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants and the conceptualisation and implementation of the NAPTIP On the Move Against Trafficking in Persons Road Campaign.

“This road campaign was aimed at sensitising three luxury bus transport companies; ABC, GUO, and Cross Country on the dangers of human trafficking, how to identify potential victims and information on NAPTIP’s reporting channels,” she said.