By Princess-Ekwi Ajide
The Federal Republic of Nigeria has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Republic of Niger on anti – trafficking.
The projuct funded by the embassy of Netherlands is aimed at reducing human trafficking between the two countries and punishing offenders.
Addressing the assemblage of stakeholders from Nigeria, Niger, Austria, Netherlands Japan, Italy, Namibia among others the Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, noted that the MoU must be implemented for it to be impactful and therefore, behoves both parties to reinforce mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating it its success.
She noted that greater success demands greater engagement from all parties and solicited continued support from all the stakeholders as according to her, everyone has a responsibility and the only sufficient response to the global challenge is the legalisation of vast solidarity and commitment capable of curbing the crime of human trafficking.
For the Director General of Agencies Nationale de Iutte Contre la Traite des Personnes, ANLTP, Ousmane Mamane, who signed for the Republic of Niger, trafficking in Persons is a global issue that changes strategies at all times hence it is very crucial for countries to pool their resources to surmount the trend.
He noted that human trafficking victims especially women and children are exploited in both Nigeria and Niger alike ranging from prostitution, begging to child labour.
Mr. Mamane, hoped that the MoU would enable the conutries protect their women and children who are the most vulnerable when it comes to such issues.
The Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Abuja, Ewout de Wit, described the project as an important milestone in the cooperation and strengthening of collaboration in the fight against trafficking in persons
Earlier in his opening speech, the Minister of foreign affairs represented by Ambassador Bolaji Akinwumi said the agreement will Foster cordial relationship between Nigeria and Niger to address crossborder crime of trafficking in Persons adding that both countries have a shared value of protecting human rights.
According to him, commitment from both countries will go a long in facilitating rescue of victims, punishment of perpetrators and delivery of justice.