National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has said that proper collaboration amongst law enforcement agencies remained the panacea for effective crime prevention in Nigeria.
The Director General of NAPTIP, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba made this statement yesterday in Abuja at a meeting of stakeholders for the formal presentation and dissemination of the Agency’s institutional and operational assessment carried out by independent consultants.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that the assessment was done under the project; ‘Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria by Combating and Reducing Irregular Migration that occurs, inter alia, through Trafficking in Persons, TIP, and Smuggling of Migrants, SOM’, sponsored by the European Union.
Jedy-Agba said many crimes were related to each other and needed closer relationship between law enforcement agenmcies to deal with them.
The NAPTIP boss said the most critical weakness preventing full compliance to the report of the assessment concerned the current legal restriction on NAPTIP prosecutors in respect of trafficking-related offences that are not specifically contained in the NAPTIP Act; offences such as rape, threats to life, aggravated physical and/or psychological injury, production and presentation of false identity and or travel documents, membership of organized criminal structures, and money laundering.
These offences, according to her, are in the Penal and Criminal codes, and can be prosecuted adequately by the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, and Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS.
The Director-General explained that the assessment process re-affirmed the legislative framework, mandate and structure of NAPTIP, adding that the Agency continued to represent the most comprehensive and integrated model that currently exists in global terms.
She, however, thanked the European Union and the UNODC for their support to NAPTIP over the years and pledged that the outcome of the report which is already being implemented will help the Agency in its bid to provide better service delivery to the nation.
Mrs. Jedy-Agba used the occasion to congratulate the Nigeria Immigrations Service on the recent passage of its new legislation, and pledged the Agency’s continued commitment to working with them in the actualization of the content of the new Act, adding that the rate of illegal migration was alarming and required urgent attention.
Also speaking, the Head, Programme Support Unit of UNODC, Mr. Polleak Ok Serei, commended NAPTIP for its commitment and passion in curbing Trafficking in Persons, TIP in Nigeria, by carrying out targeted awareness campaign activities in all the project states.
Serei stated that the objective of the institutional and operational assessment of NAPTIP was to provide appropriate mechanisms and processes for reflecting on any gaps in the agency’s mandate and activities.
In his own remarks, the Programme Manager, European Union, Mr. Philippe Peyredieu Ducharlat commended NAPTIP on its activities, expressing the willingness of the European Union to continue to support NAPTIP in capacity building and other areas.