Joy Anyim, Lagos
The British Government on Tuesday said it will continue to assist the Nigerian Government in the fight against human trafficking.
Stating this was the British Minister of State for Immigration MS Caroline Noakes, who was on a visit to some facilities of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Lagos.
Noakes said the British Government will do the needful to fasttrack the prosecution of Nigerians living in the UK involved in human trafficking.
While expressing displeasure over the high number of NAPTIP cases pending in different courts in Nigeria, Noakes said that she would ensure complete prosecution of all the agency’s cases in the UK.
Speaking, She said, “We had a recent good success where the UK government, law enforcement agencies collaborated with Nigeria in prosecuting human trafficker. It is a huge step forward to share information, share expertise.
“I am really appreciative of the Nigeria officials coming to the UK to give evidence in court to prosecute trafficker. That is a huge forward.”
She also commended the works done on NAPTIP facilities in Lagos, stressing that within few weeks of approving money for renovation, the facilities had gone beyond their expectations.
The Minister said, “I am here to see the change made on NAPTIP facilities by the UK government. In just few weeks, the work done is impressive. The facilities are being change for vulnerable women and people trafficked.
“It will be a safe place for them to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into the Nigeria society. The facilities would help the victims to be comfortable and go through rehabilitation.”
The NAPTIP Southwest Zonal Commander, Mrs Kehinde Akomolafe, who received the Minister on behalf of the Director General, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, commended the British government for the assistance.
Akomolafe said although the responsibility of NAPTIP was huge which needed more assistance in any way possible, the agency’s management was doing its best with the available resources.
She stressing that more suspected traffickers were being prosecuted with 11 cases currently pending at various courts in Nigeria.
Akomlafe also revealed that one of their officials was in the UK to testify in a case of human trafficking against one Cassandra Iyamu, assuring the Minister of more collaboration.
The British Minister also inspected building facility located at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja currently occupied by NAPTIP and NDLEA.
Receiving Noakes were the Airport commander of NDLEA, Mr Ahmadu Garbage and NAPTIP Airport commander, Mr Taiwo Waheed.
She also inspected NAPTIP shelters for victims within the state.