Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, has called for increased collaboration between ministries to combat the pressing issues of illegal migration and human trafficking.

Edu made the call during a courtesy visit to Mr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of Interior, in his office in Abuja.

The urgency of this collaboration stems from the need to address the root causes of poverty and humanitarian crises, with a particular focus on insecurity, illegal migration, and human trafficking, according to Edu.

She assured the Minister of Interior that the National Social Register would undergo expansion to include the families and widows of ex-servicemen in paramilitary organizations. Additionally, inmates of the Nigeria Correctional Services would be integrated into the skills acquisition programmes administered by her ministry.

Edu emphasized that to achieve their objectives effectively, it was imperative to establish and sustain inter-ministerial collaborations. Such synergy would provide her ministry with the essential intelligence required to coordinate and manage humanitarian crises efficiently.

“We need intelligence from you. We just obtained approval for officers from NAPTIP to be stationed at various ports. Our collaboration at the border is crucial. We must find ways to enhance our intelligence within Nigeria as we have numerous illegal borders,” she stressed.

The minister highlighted that this partnership was essential in realizing President Bola Tinubu’s plans to alleviate poverty and reduce humanitarian crises in the country.

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“We are here for serious business, and to succeed, we must work as a team through inter-sectoral and ministerial collaboration to achieve success. My new responsibilities cover a larger population of vulnerable Nigerians, aiming to provide humanitarian services and alleviate poverty in line with President Tinubu’s agenda,” she explained.

Edu expressed optimism that the synergy between the two ministries would go a long way in addressing some of the challenges they faced.

“We need your support; the heads of security agencies present here will assist us in gathering intelligence on people’s movements in and out of our country. Issues like human trafficking, child labour, and sexual exploitation contribute to humanitarian crises, and we cannot allow this trend to go unattended. It’s not acceptable; we need your support,” the minister emphasized.

In response, Tunji-Ojo commended the determination and dedication of his counterpart in pushing the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda. He announced the formation of an inter-ministerial committee led by the permanent secretaries of the two ministries to devise strategies that would strengthen the focus of their shared agenda.

Tunji-Ojo also expressed gratitude for Edu’s offer to provide skills training for inmates of the Correctional Services, acknowledging that such initiatives would contribute positively to the rehabilitation and reintegration of the inmates into society.

The two ministries committed to working together to combat issues like human trafficking, child labour, and sexual exploitation, with the overarching goal of improving the overall situation in the country.