National Agency for The Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, have disclosed plans collaborate with a view to ensuring that this year’s Hajj is devoid of incidences of human trafficking and illegal stay after the holy pilgrimage.
This was made known in a press statement issued and made available to Nigerian Pilot by the agency’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Josiah Emerole in Abuja.
The statement said that Chairman Hajj Commission, Barrister Abdullahi Mohammed made the working relationship known when he led a delegation of the Management on a courtesy visit to NAPTIP.
Mohammed said that the two organisations must collaborate to sanitise activities of pilgrims now and in the future.
He said that the purpose for his visit was to strengthen existing relationship between both organisations for effectiveness. He therefore, sought to strengthen working relationship with NAPTIP through intelligence gathering in order to plug all loopholes observed in previous Hajj operations.
According to him, strengthening of relationship would form a pro-active medium of preventing human trafficking during Hajj operations and to prevent illegal stay by pilgrims in Saudi Arabia after the pilgrimage.
The Chairman stated further that zero abscondment and trafficking in persons were achievable in 2015 through the cooperation.
Responding, the NAPTIP boss, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba thanked the Chairman and members of his team for their visit to the Agency.
Jedy-Agba pledged the cooperation of the Agency to the Commission’s plans of reducing incidences of trafficking of Nigerians into Saudi Arabia.
She explained that the number of Nigerians trafficked to the Holy land for begging and prostitution has become alarming and of great concern to the Agency which is presently seeking assistance to arrest the ugly trend.
“Umra and the Hajj are sacred religious journeys, but some of our people are desecrating it and it is not to the interest of our country and people. We are ready to cooperate with relevant organisations to stop this’’, she said.