The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has budgetted N16bn to combat human trafficking, including introducing new initiatives to identify victims and prosecute perpetrators.
This was contained in a National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria (2022-2026) obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday.
According to the document, the five-year national plan, which was launched in 2022, will set the benchmark for interventions by all stakeholders connected to the fight against human trafficking.
According to the document, the total budget for the implementation of the NAP (2022 – 2026) is N15, 657,082,500.
The figure is made up of N14.9bn capital cost, spread across the five thematic areas ; and N740.5m institutional development cost, being five per cent of the total sum.
A further breakdown of the budget shows that the agency will spend N3bn on prosecution of human traffickers; N4bn on offering protection and assistance to victims; while the agency budgeted N1.8bn for research and assessment, data management and statistics/monitoring and evaluation.
During the launch in November 2022, the Director-General, NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, had stated that human trafficking remained a threat to international, national, and human security and had become the greatest contemporary challenge.
Waziri-Azi said, “You would recall that in 2009, NAPTIP developed a four-year National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons (2009-2012) that became a collaborative framework that set the benchmarks for interventions by all stakeholders. “The implementation of the first edition of ‘NAP On Human Trafficking (2009-2012)’ provided the much-needed framework for a coordinated response to human trafficking in Nigeria among the stakeholders.
“The first edition led to numerous achievements recorded by the agency in the succeeding years. Some of these achievements were the landmark upgrading of Nigeria to Tier One status for three consecutive years in the US, 2009 – 2012.”
Last week, the agency said it had rescued no fewer than 19,000 trafficked persons this year alone.
It added that about 32 persons had been convicted of various crimes related to human trafficking between January and May, 2023.
Its Director of Intelligence and Public Enlightenment, Josiah Emerole, spoke at at a one-day national learning, experience sharing and policy brief dissemination on combating human trafficking and unsafe migration in Abuja.