The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons says it will scale up its efforts to prevent the scourge of human trafficking in Nigeria by carrying out surveillance activities of areas that are endemic.
Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General of NAPTIP, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
Okah-Donli explained that the aim of such surveillance was to take proactive actions to protect innocent Nigerians against human traffickers.
She said: “In 2019 we will be more proactive; we will carry out surveillance activities in areas that are endemic for human trafficking.
“We will not name our target areas but we will beam our searchlight on places that are known for trafficking activities,” she said.
The director-general said that NAPTIP would also scale up the tempo of awareness creation in certain areas to nip the scourge of trafficking in the bud.
“We will also be more aggressive in creating awareness; we will focus mainly on border communities and coastal areas, because a lot of trafficking activities goes on in those areas.
“We will also focus on targeted bus terminals and water ways where people are ferried off from.”
She said that the human traffickers now concentrated their activities in areas that are not very developed to get their victims.
She said: “There are still some areas where people do not have access to the internet or social media, these are the areas that traffickers prey upon, and they make sure that the people are ignorant.
“Awareness is very crucial in such rural communities, to protect them and we will engage in such awareness.”
She further revealed that the agency recorded 43 convictions of human traffickers in 2018, while promising that effort will be made to get more convictions in 2019.
She said: “We have done well so far, and we shall always strive to improve on our performance.
“In 2018, we recorded 43 conviction of traffickers, with many other cases being prosecuted and we hope to get more convictions in 2019.”
NAN reports that NAPTIP was established in July 2003, as government response to the growing scourge of human trafficking and forced labour in Nigeria.