Nigeria, UK plan crackdown on human trafficking

18 April 2019   |  

• Customs seizes 113 exotic vehicles, drugs, others worth N2b in Lagos
• Expert advocates policies to curb drug abuse among undergraduates

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has launched a collaborative campaign with UK Aid to address growing rate of human trafficking in Nigeria.

Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, at the launch of the project yesterday in Abuja, attended by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, represented by the Deputy Head of Office, Department for International Development (DFID) Nigeria, John Primrose, among others, said that with the new campaign called “Not For Sale”, vulnerable young women, especially in Edo and Delta states, would be enlightened on the potential dangers of buying into false promises of a better life abroad

Okah-Donli, who described human trafficking as a global threat, said the initiative is “making immeasurable impact in the fight against modern slavery issues and its effect on vulnerable persons, especially young women in the country.”

She lamented that human trafficking activities, which range from involuntary servitude to rape, forced marriages and others, have cost many women their lives.

In another development, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday paraded about 113 exotic vehicles, bulletproof cars and other illicit items seized during its anti-smuggling operations in Lagos.

Controller, Zone A, Ikeja, Aliyu Mohammed, said between February 6 and April 16, 2019, items intercepted included 13,810 bags of 50kg or 25 trailers of foreign parboiled rice; 200 cartons of frozen poultry products; 1,000 sachets of Tramadol capsules; among others,

Mohammed said the prohibited drugs were without registration number of National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and they were intercepted within Lagos.

He, therefore, advised intending car buyers to verify the authenticity of the import and clearance documents with the appropriate Customs Area Controllers (CACs) at various ports in the country, adding that buyers should avoid buying smuggled vehicles.

Meanwhile, a United States (U.S.)-based medical expert, Livinus Obilor, has urged formation of policies by both the university authorities and government to curb the rampant cases of drug abuse among Nigerian youths, especially the under-graduates.

Obilor said the rate at which young people indulge in reckless drug intake exposes the level of ignorance and moral decadence in Nigerian society.

He spoke with The Guardian in Owerri while reacting to the recent death of four students of Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), resulting from the intake of Tramadol, Indian hemp and Vodka for sexual enhancement.

According to him, many of those who indulge in drug abuse are uninformed of the consequences and need regular orientation to stay away from the vice.

He said the intake of such drugs could cause “respiratory arrest, pulmonary hypertension, cardiac arrest and the combination of them may result to serious damages on health and even death.

He also blamed the Nigerian government for not equipping the hospitals with adequate facilities to resuscitate emergency cases of drug abuse and making laws that would regulate behaviours of students in the schools.