From left: Mr Muyiwa Ale, Mrs Amaka Okoye (Head of Counselling & Rehabilitation, NAPTIP Lagos), Femi Awoniyi (Co-Director of the Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria), Mr Chinedu Ajaegbu (Acting Zonal Commander, NAPTIP Lagos), Mrs Rachel Uzor (Research & Programme Development, NAPTIP Lagos) and Mr Bode Ogunbiyi (Investigation & Monitoring, NAPTIP Lagos) / Photo: MEPN

MEPN visits the Lagos Command of NAPTIP

The Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria (MEPN) paid a familiarisation visit to the Lagos Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), an agency set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2003 to tackle human trafficking and other related matters in Nigeria.

I was received by the Acting Zonal Commander, Mr Chinedu Ajaegbu, in the company of the principal officials of the Command, including Mrs Amaka Okoye (Head of Counselling & Rehabilitation), Mr Bode Ogunbiyi (Investigation & Monitoring), Mrs Rachel Uzor (Research & Programme Development) and Mrs Hajara Tunde-Osho (Public Relations Officer).

I held a meeting with the NAPTIP officials during which I explained the objectives and activities of MEPN and offer to partner with the Agency towards our common goal of putting a stop to the unnecessary death and suffering of young Nigerians as a result of irregular migration.

I explained that our current campaign is three-pronged: To promote a greater public awareness of the risks and dangers of irregular migration, to provide information on opportunities of legal migration and to encourage would-be migrants not to neglect positive alternatives to migration.

MEPN held a Roundtable on Migration – a series of consultation with civil society – in Abuja, Enugu, Lagos and Benin-City, bringing together youths, parents and multipliers, such as journalists, educationists, artists and religious leaders, among others, to exchange ideas and experiences on the issue. The objective of the MEPN’s campaign is to dispel the misconception that there’re always more opportunities for everybody outside the country and promote a realistic attitude to migration in society.

In response, Mr Ajaegbu talked about the functions of his organisation, including the enforcement of all other laws on trafficking in persons and related offences and the adoption of effective measures for the prevention and eradication of trafficking in persons. NAPTIP also, among others, creates public awareness through seminars, workshops, publications, radio and television programmes and other means aimed at educating the public on the dangers of trafficking in persons.

Mr Ajaegbu reiterates his organisation’s readiness to partner with others for the purpose of fulfilling its mandate.

I would like to use this opportunity to express my profound thanks to Mr Ajaegbu and the other officials of NAPTIP who received me with so much warmth. I also thank Mr Muyiwa Ale, CEO C&I Insurance Brokers – who also attended the session.

Femi Awoniyi, Co-Director of the Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria