The Zonal Commander, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) representing Lagos, Ogun and Oyo state, Mr. Daniel Atokolo, on Tuesday disclosed that the zone recorded 370 convictions since 2003.
The zonal commander revealed this at the celebration of International Migrants’ Day and launch of Information Education and Communication (IEC) material organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with the theme, “Migration with dignity” held in Lagos.
He however observed that the convictions would have been more if not for the non availability of witnesses in court.
This, he noted, has stymied the progress in prosecuting some offenders, assuring that the agency will put more efforts to tackle human trafficking.
“We have done 370 convictions since inception. We have prosecuted people. But the issue is that we need witnesses because some human traffickers are relatives of the victims. So the victims will not want to send their relatives to jail” he said.
He thanked IOM for its support in repatriating irregular migrants back to Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Programme Manager, Migration Management at IOM, Mr. Abrham Tamrat, said the absence of information on migration system has led migrants to fall into wrong hands, lamenting that human traffickers have leveraged on this gap.
He emphasized that education is pivotal to help migrants make informed decision about the journey they want to embark upon, adding that IEC materials will help to promote regular migration.
“IEC materials are designed to, through a participatory approach by stakeholders in Nigeria, pass the message in local context to convince and inform community members about irregular migration and the advantage of migrating in a regular and safe way,” he said.
The IOM has since 2017 facilitated return and repatriation of over 11,000 irregular migrants from Libya and is currently carrying out a programme for the rehabilitation and reintegration of the returnees.