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Buhari Anti-corruption campaign, economic diversification will check human trafficking

“We are aware of the challenge for Nigeria, but our resolve to combat it is strong and unshakable,’’ the president said.

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President Muhammadu Buhari play

President Muhammadu Buhari

(Twitter)

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration’s anti-corruption campaign and the economic diversification programme will significantly reduce human trafficking and create jobs for unemployed youths.  

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said in Abuja on Tuesday that Buhari made the statement at a meeting on Modern Slavery, hosted by the British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Adesina, said  the meeting was held on the margins of the 71 Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA71), at the residence of the British permanent representative to the UN.

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has so far rescued more than 8,000 victims of human trafficking, its Spokesman, Mr Josiah Emerole, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Emereole said the number did not include those rescued from other agencies.

The president said the anti-corruption crusade and diversification programme of the government would address the lack of job opportunities and deprivation which had made Nigerian youths vulnerable to recruitment by human traffickers.

We are also investing more on infrastructure development, education and health for our people.

“When the results of our efforts become manifest the attraction of seeking greener pastures abroad will lesson,’’ Buhari said.   

He said the president commended the British prime minister for drawing the attention of the international community to such “a serious matter to coincide with a time that the global focus is on migration and refugee crisis’’.

He, therefore, called for practical and innovative measures “to address all the modern day human tragedies.”

The president noted that “more worrisome is the fact that human trafficking and modern day slavery have created a dangerous political economy of their own.

“In consequence, this international criminality is defined by the activities of human traffickers that lure unsuspecting victims into forced labour, inhuman treatment, money laundering and prostitution.’’

According to him, Nigeria is ready and willing to partner  other countries and international organisations to confront the  phenomenon.

The president gave an assurance that his administration was strongly committed to combating the modern slavery and would redouble efforts to prohibit human trafficking and provide succour for victims.

He also assured his audience “to count on the support of Nigeria in dealing with this evil, which constitutes an unacceptable stain on human dignity and conscience in the 21 century”.

The president said the NAPTIP and the Nigeria Immigration Service had taken steps to establish a joint operational Working Group to combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants from Nigeria.  

We are aware of the challenge for Nigeria, but our resolve to combat it is strong and unshakable,’’ the president said.  

The president was accompanied to the meeting by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Minister of Interior,  retired Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau.

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