By Maryam Garba Hassan
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria NAHCON and National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons NAPTIP have agreed to support and co-operate in tackling the menace of human trafficking.
A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Commission’s Head Media, Fatima Mustapha, said the two organisations pledged the cooperation when management of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria paid a courtesy visit to NAPTIP headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of NAHCON, Barr Abdullahi Mukhtar said there was need for synergy and collaborative efforts by all relevant organisations to tackle the menace which in recent times have been denting the nation’s image.
The statement said Mukhtar called on the office of the National Security Adviser to coordinate all the agencies involved in the business of anti-human trafficking to find a lasting solution to the problem, especially the route to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He said the effort of the Nigeria Immigration Service in the introduction of e-passport had helped to reduce the incident drastically unlike in the past adding that there was need to evolve new strategy to deal with the menace.
According to him, the need to combat the menace led to the introduction of bio-metric data capturing by the Saudi authority for Hajj and Umrah to check mate activities of over stayers and absconders.
Responding, Director-General of NAPTIP, Mrs. Julie Okali-Donli expressed appreciation to NAHCON for identifying with the good work of NAPTIP assuring of her organisation’s readiness to work together to curb the menace of illegal human trafficking as contained in the provision of the law establishing the Agency to prosecute any person or organisation involved in the act.