The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Lagos Command, on Monday sought synergy with the Lagos State Government (LASG) to combat human trafficking within the state.
The Lagos State Commander of NAPTIP, Mr Daniel Atokolo,said this when the agency hosted the Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations (IGR), Mr Paul Bamgbose-Martins and his team in Lagos.
According to him, there is a high rate of human trafficking going on within the state.
The commander said that the situation was evidenced by the number of victims rescued and brought to the command intermittently.
”The number of rescued victims in the facility is overwhelming.
”Lagos state command receives and provides necessary services to survivors of trafficking in persons and returnees every week.
“These returnees are mostly from countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Benin Republic, Lebanon, Libya and Mali among others,” he said.
Atokolo said that now was the right time for the LASG and NAPTIP to embark on intense war against traffickers.
Atokolo said that the risks associated with human trafficking was more than what could be seen physically.
“Loss freedom, loss of self-esteem, forced abortion, rape and rituals among others were few known risks,” he said.
Atokolo said that the agency had been catering for the victims, adding that the agency needed more empowerment.
He said that apart from feeding, there were many needs of the victims that required huge expenses.
Atokolo said that some of them were already pregnant before they came to the command.
The commander said that there was the need to establish the Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce in Lagos State to fight the hoodlums.
He appealed to the LASG to facilitate the establishment of the Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce to enhance NAPTIP’ presence and services in the state.
Atokolo also said that there was the need to enroll NAPTIP in the Lagos State’s security committee.
According to him, it is not only police or paramilitaries that should be on Lagos security committee, NAPTIP should also be on board.
Mr Bamgbose-Martins,the Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter- Government Relations responding on the issues raised by NAPTIP, assured the agency of LASG’s unending support.
Bamgbose-Martins, represented by the Director of IGR, Mr Bankole Adetola, said that the state had also developed an agenda known as “THEMES” for full social welfare of the indigenes.
“This “THEMES” ‘means: Transparency, Health, Education, Making Lagos a 21st Century state, Entertainment, Security and Governance,” he said.
He also commended NAPTIP for not relenting in its fight against human trafficking in Lagos State.