NAPTIP Promises More Bite to Fight Against Trafficking in Persons

…To Embrace Data Collection

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has promised to give more bite to its ongoing war on trafficking in persons by embracing data collection and collaborating with all important stakeholders.

The Director-General, Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi gave this promise on Monday at the opening of capacity building for NAPTIP officers and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on Human Trafficking and the Harmonised Reporting Tools.

The DG, who was represented by the agency’s Director, Legal and Prosecution, Mr. Hassan Tahir noted that the place of data in national development cannot be over emphasized. She added that: “Data collection is the basis of our programming for human trafficking. It is a known fact that data drives policy interventions and operational activities in several fields, and particularly the counter-trafficking sphere. Reliable data enables us to identify trends, allocate resources effectively, and craft evidence-based strategies that are impactful towards the detection and elimination of the heinous crime of human trafficking.”

She said: “To all the participants, this workshop provides you a unique opportunity to make a difference in counter trafficking efforts in Nigeria especially in the Agency. You are privileged to have been selected to be here. I therefore, urge you to remain focused and fully engaged throughout this training. Your role is critical, and the skills you acquire here will not only enhance your capabilities but also empower you to train other data collection officers across the various formations of NAPTIP nationwide and to other stakeholders especially the CSOs. I therefore congratulate every one of you.”

The DG revealed that: “The Consultants, and other experts have been carefully selected and they will guide you through various pertinent topics. The excellence shown in this training will undoubtedly have a positive impact throughout the entire Agency, bolstering our collective efforts against human trafficking.

Waziri-Azi said: “Let me remind you all that what we are doing this week will also help us to report our activities better with proper evidence presented. You are aware of the Performance Bond that I signed early this year with the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. That Performance Bond is based on the 8 priorities of the present administration which is evidence based. You are key to achieving that Performance Bond as the Agency relies on you as Data officers of your Departments and Units to track those activities we said would be carried out and ensure full compliance, with evidence of achievements harvested. This would be done alongside your work plans which are also in tandem with the National Action Plan.”

She told the participants that: “Our job as a critical Agency of government is to always stand tall in contributing to national development and ensuring the safety of our vulnerable population whom criminal elements are seeking to devour. We have from the onset vowed to make life unbearable for human traffickers and all those involved in various acts of violence against persons in Nigeria, and we are not ready to shy away from that responsibility. We shall continue to make our communities difficult for human traffickers to operate. 

“I encourage you to give your utmost best at this workshop. The knowledge and skills you gain here will be invaluable and will significantly contribute to the success of our comprehensive national anti-trafficking efforts, which would place Nigeria in a different light among the comity of nations in combating this transnational organized crime.

“Please be reminded that this workshop is a serious one and must be seen as that. At the end of it, each one of you especially officers of the Agency will be required as you are already aware, to step the training down in your Departments and Units. Based on performance, some of you would also be selected and sent to the Commands to cascade the training. I will therefore, be expecting an assessment on each participant at the end of the workshop from the facilitators.”

On his part, the agency’s  Director, Research and Programme Department, Mr. Josiah Emerole, said: “This capacity building has come at a very auspicious time when the Agency is focusing more on evidence based programming which only proper data collection, analysis and dissemination can provide. It is also coming at a time when the present administration of President Bola Tinubu is focusing on evidence based performance from all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAS) in line with the performance bonds signed with Ministers.”

He disclosed that at the end of the workshop, the following are expected: “The reporting tools will be used as the accepted template for reporting counter trafficking activities in the Agency and to the Agency. The CSOs and other stakeholders are to adopt same template in reporting to the National Stakeholders Consultative Forum (NSCF).

“CSOs present are to step down this training to other member organisations for uniform reporting while training for STF on the template will be conducted during the Bootcamp early August 2024. 

“NAPTIP participants shall step down the training in their respective Departments and Units.

“Selected participants would facilitate step down trainings across the NAPTIP Commands in the next activity phase.”

A Goodwill Message from the Acting Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Nigeria Country Office, Danilo Campisi, said that: “Based on lessons learned from implementing the first NAP of 2009 to 2012, Improved data collection, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of the level and success of implemented activities through the development of a harmonized data collection system with stringent reporting tools and guidelines that allow for high-quality and timely reporting is one of the integral objectives for the implementation of the current NAP, which significantly explains further, our reason for being here today.”

Campisi, who was represented by UNODC’s Associate Programme Officer, Project Officer “From Policy to Action,” Ifeoma Karebo said: “Human trafficking as we are aware, remains a grave concern, threatening the dignity and rights of individuals, particularly women and children. UNODC is dedicated to supporting the strengthening of the Nigerian government's policy framework and response to trafficking in persons.

“This training workshop whose primary aim is to equip NAPTIP officers and CSOs with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively implement the NAP, embodies our commitment to turning “Policy into Action”. We aim to enhance stakeholder coordination, improve data collection and analysis, and develop a more gender-sensitive approach to combating human trafficking. By fostering a comprehensive understanding of the NAP among different stakeholders and developing their competencies, we are laying the groundwork for a more robust and coordinated response to human trafficking across Nigeria.”

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