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Human Trafficking: NAPTIP commends EU for support

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Fatimah Waziri-Azi
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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has commended the European Union for its support in the fight against human trafficking.

The Director General of the agency, Mrs Fatimah Waziri-Azi, gave the commendation at an award and speech making day organised by the International Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).

FIIAPP is a Spanish public agency implementing a project in Nigeria tagged “Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (A-TIPSOM)”, aimed at eliminating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.

Waziri-Azi said that the support NAPTIP had received from the EU over the years had assisted the agency to achieve significant milestones in the fight against human trafficking.

She said that NAPTIP would forever remain grateful to FIIAPP over the A-TIPSOM project, adding that collaboration like this was a reminder that partnerships can make a difference.

“Human trafficking is not only a problem, it is a crises. Empirical evidence shows that it has become the third largest criminal enterprise globally and second amongst transnational organised crime.

“It is a crime in which the potential victims and allies are completely ignorant about the dangers that await them over their choices. It is portrayed by the traffickers as the best choice to end the circle of poverty in a family.

“It is for these reasons that the Federal Government of Nigeria ratified all the conventions on human trafficking including the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its two related protocols in 2000.

“It also ratified the enactment of the trafficking in persons prohibition enforcement and administration Act 2003, as amended in 2015. The Act established NAPTIP as the specialised anti-trafficking agency with prosecutorial powers,” she said.

Waziri-Azi stated that NAPTIP was stepping up its efforts by applying 24 hours all hands-on-deck approach to all cases of trafficking in persons, as well as prioritising the prosecution of high profile traffickers, and enhancing the prevention of trafficking, through sustained awareness creation.

She said that the agency was in the final stages of developing the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria 2022-2025 with Switzerland and technical support from the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC) that would strengthen training of officers.

She, therefore, solicited the continued support of all stakeholders, saying that everybody had a role to play and that NAPTIP would continue to scale-up access to justice for people.

On his part, the A-TIPSOM team leader in Nigeria, Mr Rafael-Rios Molina, said that his foundation would continue  supporting the federal government in the fight against human trafficking through A-TIPSOM, announcing that its official partnership with the government had been extended for additional one year.

According to him, A-TIPSOM began in 2018, through an agreement between the EU and the Government of Nigeria, to address trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

He said that FIIAPP would continue to support the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria. through the support of EU.

On the award for speech making and essay competition, on trafficking, a total of 300 entries were received by FIIAPP, while award was given to three finalists from Reginal Pacis College, Abuja.

The awardees were Chidinma Nwosu, Anayo Rosemary and Ikpeme Christabel, who emerged first, second and third respectively, while others from Government Secondary School, Wuse and Tudun Wada also received awards. (NAN)

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Akpabio’s Comment On N30bn To Govs Misconstrued – Eyiboh

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio’s statement that Governors recently received N30billion from the federal government to cushion the effects of hardship was misconstrued, his spokesman, Hon Eseme Eyiboh has said.

Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom) denied receiving such amounts.

Eyiboh, in a statement in Abuja, said the Senate President holds Governors in high esteem.

He said Akpabio urged the “sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.”

The statement reads: “The office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to various misconceptions in the public domain on the statement credited to the President of the Senate in plenary of Wednesday, February 21, 2024, during the presentation of a report of the joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance.

“During the session the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30billion to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted.

“In considering the well-intended motive of urging State Governments to collaborate with the Federal Government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that State governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.

“The President of the Senate has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance.

“He therefore urges the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

“The President of the Senate recognizes and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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Hardship: Afenifere Begs Yoruba Race Not To Join Protest Against Tinubu

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The leader of the Pan Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, has appealed to Nigerians, especially from the South West states, against the planned nationwide protest against President Bola Tinubu-led federal government amid the hardship Nigerians are currently experiencing.

Fasoranti who made this appeal, in a statement personally signed by him, lamented over the current economic crisis in the country, describing it as unfortunate, and urging Nigerians to endure the hardship for tomorrow’s prosperity.

The Afenifere leader said, “As the National Leader of Afenifere, and leader of the Yoruba, I address all and sundry today with a deep understanding of the challenges our dear country is going through at this critical time. The outcry over the hardship, hunger, and price hikes is not unexpected.

“However, we must come to terms with the realities of our national challenges, which the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is striving to resolve.

“While acknowledging the hardships faced by our people, it is important to recognize that these economic measures, although difficult, are part of a larger strategy aimed at restoring economic prosperity and stability to Nigeria.

“The government’s commitment to implementing these measures is a testament to its dedication to addressing the root causes of our economic challenges, inherited from the ills of the previous years”

He said “As a responsible leader, I appeal to every Yoruba man and woman, young and old, and our fellow citizens across the nationalities, to exercise patience and refrain from engaging in protests or actions that may escalate tensions.

“Understandably, the immediate impact of Tinubu’s economic reforms is challenging to everyone, but it is crucial to give the government the necessary time to realize the intended benefits”

Attributing the current economic hardship to the removal of fuel subsidy and has done great damage to the nation’s economy, saying “It is important to note that the removal of fuel subsidies and the floating of the Naira is not undertaken lightly, as we all know the great damage done to our national prosperity through the nefarious activities of the agents of darkness within the oil and financial sectors.

“These measures by the Federal Government, though painful in the short term, are designed to create a more sustainable economic environment that will benefit us all in the long run. It requires collective understanding and resilience from every citizen as we navigate through these challenging times.

“We cannot afford a preference for the euthanasic approach of painless death of our nation, where we are propped up with loans and subsidies until a total collapse into a failed nation, while we have the opportunity of painful healing through treatment with multiple surgeries that will guarantee not just our survival, but restored health, vigor, and thriving life. We must endure today’s hardship for tomorrow’s prosperity”

He, however, appealed to Nigerians to give Tinubu more time and engage in constructive criticism that can contribute towards the development of the country.

“I implore you to trust in the government’s commitment to the welfare of our nation. Let us engage in constructive dialogue and contribute positively to the ongoing economic reforms.

“Join me in appealing for unity and understanding among our people. Together, we can weather this storm and emerge stronger as a nation.

“I want to assure you as the Leader of Afenifere, that we are actively engaging with the government at different levels to address the concerns of our people. Let us remain steadfast, patient, and united in the face of these challenges, confident that our collective resilience will pave the way for a more prosperous future”
Recall that last Thursday, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the president-general of Ohanaeze, similarly appealed to the Igbo groups not to protest against the administration of President Bola Tinubu.

The Ohanaeze in a communique issued after an emergency meeting asked the people of the southeast to “invoke the indomitable Igbo spirit of brotherliness and hard work” during the period of economic hardship.

The group urged south-east governors and traditional rulers to take “advantage of the upcoming farming season to catalyze massive agricultural production for sustainable food security” in the zone.

Ohanaeze added that since the apex court in the country has ruled on the 2023 presidential election, the group has decided to support the administration of Tinubu.

“We reviewed with intense passion, the level of unemployment, poverty, hardships, especially the rising cost of goods and services in Nigeria, the rate of depreciation of Nigerian currency, and the excruciating effect on the masses; and reminded Ndigbo that they should quickly readjust themselves to the reality of the times and that the Igbo have passed through the worst of conditions in the past,” the communique reads.

“There is no better time than now to invoke the indomitable Igbo spirit of brotherliness, hard work, ingenuity, wisdom, resilience, inventiveness, perseverance, and capacity to turn adversities into diverse opportunities

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FG To Implement Oronsaye Report

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President Bola Tinubu
President Bola Tinubu
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..To Scrap Many Agencies, Merge Others

In a landmark decision, President Bola Tinubu has approved the implementation of the age-long Oronsanye report.

This is one of the decisions taken at this Monday’s meeting of the federal executive council, at the state house.

The report submitted by the Oronsanye committee under the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2012 has endured successive administrations without implementation.

By Implication, some federal agencies would either be scrapped, merged or relocated.

A committee to be headed by the Secretary to the Government of the federation is to work out the modalities for implementation.

 

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