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IOM Advises West African counties on Collaboration for Success of War Against Trafficking in Persons

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IOM Advises West African counties on Collaboration for Success of War Against Trafficking in Persons

By: Michael Mike

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), has said it is imperative for countries in West Africa to synergy and collaborate for success to be recorded in the ongoing fight against trafficking in persons within the region.

The Chief of Mission of IOM in Nigeria, Mr Laurent De Boeck, gave the charge in his address at the inaugural ceremony of the three-day workshop focused on fights against trafficking that started from May 31, to June 2, 2023, in Abuja.

The workshop, which is organised by the Ministry of Solidarity and the Fight against Poverty, as Executive Secretariat of the National Committee for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons (CNLTP) was based on bi-lateral cooperation to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons in Nigeria and Cote d’ Ivoire.

De Boeck said the meeting centered on exchange, experience sharing and study visit to Nigeria between CNLTP and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) aimed at sharing lessons learnt and the best practices on human trafficking.

He said synergy is very important for countries in the West African region to fight against trafficking in persons and therefore, this visit is very timely.

He said: “It comes at a time when NAPTIP will be commemorating 20 years of being in existence and has been instrumental in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria.

“A lot of milestones have been scored and NAPTIP has been a lead in the region, hence the interest by other countries to learn from the experience.

“One of the key aims of this study visit is to strengthen the government’s efforts, particularly in terms of sub-regional cooperation, in the fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

“This study is part of assistance to victims of trafficking and smuggling of migrants project, funded by Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and implemented by IOM Côte d’Ivoire in close collaboration with the National Committee for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons in Cote d’Ivoire.”

He assured that the organisation would support Nigeria to tackle root causes of irregular migration, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, ranging from the need to strengthen efforts in behavioural change communication interventions.

He further promised that socio-economic opportunities would be provided to return migrants to their communities of origin, leverage on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 10:7 and 17, to provide post arrival, reception and protection assistance to over 30,000 Nigerians, of which 4,000 are victims of trafficking among other.

Speaking at the event, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, reiterated the need for shared values between both countries towards the protection of human rights, uphold peace and prosperity, as guiding principles for mutual cooperation.

She said: “Human trafficking and its multi-dimensional effect is a crime that affects every country.

“Although proportionality and strength may differ, trafficking in persons has continued to threaten the existence of humanity, which is why it is imperative we cooperate in the best interest of our citizens and all of society.

“The way we used to think about human trafficking has evolved into microcosms of much bigger problems.”

Regional Project Manager of Expertise France, Mr Modeste Krah, on his part, said the bi-lateral agreement signed between the two countries (Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire) in 2021 served as strategic framework in their fights against human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.

He said the study visit to Nigeria served as platform to further strengthen collaboration of combating heinous crime of human trafficking and smuggling.

He said: “Both Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria find themselves grappling with migration flows, serving as countries of origin, transit and destination.

“A detesting reality is that large number of the victims of trafficking rescued and cared for would have been trajectory to trafficking for sexual exploitation of Nigeria nationals.

“Such complexity pose immense challenges in the identification of victims and prosecution of trafficking, necessitating the concerted collaborative efforts between our two countries,” he said.

The workshop is being hosted under the auspices of the technical and financial support of IOM, and Expertise France had participants drawn from NAPTIP, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria Immigration Service, IOM Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria.

IOM Advises West African counties on Collaboration for Success of War Against Trafficking in Persons

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Nigeria, UAE to Strengthen Partnership and Collaboration

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Nigeria, UAE to Strengthen Partnership and Collaboration

By: Michael Mike

Plans are underway to further strengthen areas of partnership and collaboration between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This way revealed during the visit of the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa to the Embassy of UAE in Abuja following the removal of the visa ban by placed on Nigeria by the Arab country.

Dabiri-Erewa who was received by the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, stated that NiDCOM intends to engage and sensitize Nigerians in the UAE to be good ambassadors of their country of stay and country of origin, to excel in whatever they are doing and never to forget home.

She added further “this initiative aims to foster better understanding and compliance with local regulations”, while She disclosing that 190 Nigerians were repatriated to Nigeria, with an additional 250 expected to return soon.

She said the actions of individuals in a host country can greatly impact the overall image of their home country, noting that the role of Western media imperialism in perpetuating negative stereotypes about Nigerians.

The UAE Envoy on his part, explained that the visa ban on Nigeria has been officially lifted.

He confirmed that the Visa on Arrival policy has been canceled for all countries, but assured that the new procedures are designed to facilitate tourism and ensure travelers’ safe return.

The Ambassador expressed his commitment to providing the best possible services for Nigerians, with the support of the determined Nigerian government.

He also acknowledged the UAE’s role in safely repatriating 96 Nigerians at no cost.

Marking his one-year anniversary as the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Al-Shamsi shared his positive impressions of Nigeria, describing it as a beautiful country with warm-hearted people who share similar cultural, religious, Android ethnic backgrounds with the UAE.

He expressed his eagerness to continue collaborating with NiDCOM to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Nigeria, UAE to Strengthen Partnership and Collaboration

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UK Government Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Serious and Organised Crime

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UK Government Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Serious and Organised Crime

By: Michael Mike

The United Kingdom Government has hosted a multi-stakeholder meeting in Abuja to discuss how its Serious & Organised Crime (SOC) Prevent Programme is making significant strides in deterring vulnerable young people from joining Organised Crime Groups in Nigeria.

Launched as a three-year pilot in December 2021, the programme is designed to disrupt Nigerian Organised Crime Groups by redirecting at-risk youth towards positive alternatives in Bayelsa, Edo, Zamfara and Lagos states.

In select local governments of these states, the SOC Prevent Programme has established robust structures and delivered various interventions, including Back-to-School Initiatives, Digital Skills Acquisition, Dance and Drama Workshops and Sports Interventions.

Collaborating closely with the Nigeria Police Force, the programme has trained 83 officers in the Prevent methodology, reinforcing the commitment to institutionalise this approach in tackling SOC, and to date, approximately 1,500 beneficiaries across the four states have been diverted from potential involvement in organised crime.

Speaking at the meeting, the Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Lever said: “Serious & Organised Crime is a priority for both Nigeria and the UK, and can take many forms. Ranging from online focussed activities like cybercrime to the physical movement of illicit commodities and people in the form of trafficking.

“Our results in Nigeria have proven that the Prevent methodology works, and it has been successful in diverting young people from choosing a life of crime. I believe that the valuable discussions that took place today will smoothen the way for Prevent to be fully institutionalised in Nigeria.”

The meeting included representatives from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Police Affairs, the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security & Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), INTERPOL, Office for Strategic Preparedness and Resilience (OSPRE), Ministry of Police Affairs, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and others.

The Prevent programme is an approach to tackling SOC. Others are Pursue, Protect and Prepare. Prevent methodology looks to prevent or deter people from engaging in SOC by raising awareness of the consequences of SOC and developing techniques to deter people from continuing in criminality.

UK Government Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Serious and Organised Crime

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Adeola Odutola College 79/84 set celebrate 40 years in grand style with multi-million naira donation of solar street light to school

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Adeola Odutola College 79/84 set celebrate 40 years in grand style with multi-million naira donation of solar street light to school

By: Michael Mike

All is now set for the commissioning of multi-million naira installed solar street light by Adeola Odutola College 1979-1984 set as part of the activities lined up to commemorate the 40 years of leaving the school on Friday July 19.

In a statement, the set said the celebration which had earlier been kicked off with a thanksgiving in the Church on Sunday June 16, to mark the 75 years Founder’s Day, will witness a special Jumat service for the commemoration in the school.

According to Abiodun Balogun, the President of Adeola Odutola College Old Students Association 1979-1984 set, stated that the programme will start with the set participating in the morning assembly with the students from 8 a.m followed by a courtesy call on the Principal and Management of the school.

Thereafter, he said there would be commissioning of the installed solar street light at 11.00 a.m donated by the set to the school.

Balogun said the set will join the Muslim community of the School to observe a Jumat service specially for the set .

Other activities lined up for the anniversary include a get together and gala nite where the old students will reunite and reminiscence of their five years stay in the school.

Balogun added that the set is grateful to God for His benevolence on them as it has produced Professors and academicians, top civil servants, businessmen and women, educationists among several others both at home and in the diaspora.

It will be recalled that the set regrouped in 2014 to mark its 30 years in existence with renovation of some classrooms in the school.

Adeola Odutola College 79/84 set celebrate 40 years in grand style with multi-million naira donation of solar street light to school

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