Commission canvasses more funding for NAPTIP


Commission canvasses more funding for NAPTIP

By Aluta News
Rev. Fr. Solomon Uko, the Executive Director of Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) an agency of the Catholic Church, has call for improved funding for National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP)

Uko made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday after a courtesy visit to the Director-General of NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi in Abuja.

He said that the fight against human trafficking was a collective responsibility as the dignity of the human person cannot be negotiated.

“It is sacrosanct for every hand to be on deck to fund NAPTIP because they a doing a great work for humanity.

“We are talking about the dignity of the human person and this is an agency of government that has been so much involved in countering trafficking in persons.

“As human beings we are created in the image and likeness of God and God wants us as a people and a community to help each other.

“In our partnership with NAPTIP and the interaction with the DG, we are seeing a lot of things they are doing and we are calling on every person, people of good will to join hands to see that NAPTIP is well funded,” he said.

Earlier, the JDPC Programmes Director, Mr Timothy Ejeh said that the aim of the visit was to brief the DG of NAPTIP on the cluster advocacy issues and her efforts in the drive for more funding for NAPTIP.

He said that improved funding for NAPTIP is a focal objective of JDPC after achieving the reactivation of victims of trafficking trust funds domiciled in the CBN and speedy trial of traffickers.

“We have paid an advocacy visit to the Federal Ministry of Finance to canvass for improved funding for NAPTIP and we got the commitment of the Permanent Secretary to interface with the agency for improved funding as we are in the budget preparatory stage.

“We have also paid an advocacy visit to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and also got the commitment of the Permanent Secretary that in six months, some of the cluster advocacy issues will be addressed.

“We are also engaging other stakeholders and the private sector to elicit their support towards funding of the victims of trafficking trust funds in the CBN,” he said.

Ejeh said that JDPC had trained no fewer than 25 journalists on proper reporting of Countering Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) and Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and have also trained 30 youths as ambassadors at the community level.

The programme director said that plans were ongoing under the Scale Project with funding support from USAID through Palladium to train another set of journalists to expand the fight against trafficking in persons.

Responding, Waziri-Azi said that the fight against trafficking in persons was for everyone irrespective of location, religion, tribe or race.

The DG said that contrary to opinions held in some quarters, most trafficked persons are not prostitutes but victims of traffickers.

Waziri-Azi said every agency needed money but the humanitarian work of NAPTIP stands out hence, the need for more funding.

She said following the advocacy visit of JDPC to the Federal Ministry of Finance, the management of NAPTIP had met with the ministry officials with a view to improve on budgetary allocations.

Waziri-Azi said that NAPTIP has 14 shelters for rescued victims of trafficking across the country where they are fed and given medical attention free of charge.

According to director-general, the shelter in Abuja is most expensive to run as they are also victims with special needs who are in dire need of attention.

She said while some victim are quickly reunited with their families after short support, some victims require longer period of support to get back on their feet.

Waziri-Azi said that no fewer 38 victims are being trained in schools from primary to tertiary levels.

The director-general said that over the years, NAPTIP had enjoyed supports in form of operational vehicles from Germany, United Kingdom and Canada among others.

She said that as a country, more needed to be done in the fight against human trafficking, calling for more domestic support to keep the fight going.

Waziri-Azi, however, commended all the partners of NAPTIP for the humanitarian job they are doing urging more support in line with God’s original plan when he created us all. (NAN)

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