The Nigeria Immigration Service has disclosed that its command has rescued 114 victims of child trafficking between January and October this year.
The Comptroller of Immigration, Oyo state Command, Mrs. Victoria Isangedighi, stated this in Osogbo, Osun state capital, on Thursday, during a one-day seminar on “Migrant Smuggling and Human Trafficking/Child Labour – Combating the Menace and the Way Forward.
She noted that immigration was making efforts to curb the menace of child trafficking, saying “perpetrators keep devising new ways to beat security agents.
“It was in realisation of this that the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service empowered and directed all state commands to vigorously embark on enlightenment campaign against it and intensify surveillance/monitoring activities as well as intelligence gathering to nip this menace in the bud.
“I can assure you that as a service, we will not relent in our efforts and will continue to synergies and cooperate with other relevant stakeholders since we cannot do it alone.
Speaking, the Speaker of Osun state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam, attributed the increasing rate of human trafficking to the shortcoming of the government and over-ambition of the youths.
He subsequently called for equipment of immigration service with latest technology that could be used to combat human trafficking.
Salaam, who was the Chairman of the occasion, also suggested that the government should recruit more staff that would be adequate to man Nigeria’s borders.
“It is a statement of fact that we have laws and International protocols to combat crime, but the migrant smuggling network appears to be so powerful that agencies are being compromised to look away and this is one factor that must be properly diagnosed and tackled.
“It is obvious that the dearth of inspiring leadership that offers hope for the youth and envisioning future for the country serves as bedrock of migrant smuggling, and the way to reverse to the ugly trend of human trafficking and child labour is to have leadership recruitment exercise that would guarantee the beat team to emerge for the task,” he added.
The Assistant Director of Intelligence, Lagos Zonal command, Mrs. Kehinde Akomolafe, expressed concern over the rate at which the crime was increasing.
She called on Nigerians to join security operatives in the fight against human trafficking, noting that those parents that send their children to hawk on the street are contributing to the crime.
The Comptroller General, Immigration Service, Mr. Muhammad Babandede, who was represented by the Assistant Comptroller General, Zone F, Julius Ogwu, said the immigration was collaborating with international organisations to tackle the problem of human trafficking.
He warned those that are travelling abroad in search of job not to be desperate, assuring that they would make it in Nigeria if they are determined and hardworking.