The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has expressed FCT’s readiness to partner with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to tackle human trafficking in the territory.
Chief Press Secretary to the Minister Mr Anthony Ogunleye, in a statement on Friday, said Bello made the pledge when the Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
The minister said the partnership became necessary in view of the security challenge trafficking in humans posed for the FCT.
He stressed that human trafficking involved criminal gangs “which go hand in hand with drug pushers and other such crimes.”
“Once you see human traffickers, you see drug pushers and then you see commercial sex workers.
“You find out that it is a clique that is intertwined and eventually transcends into criminality in the form of pick pocket and one chance and so on.
“All these are interrelated and that is why I feel that your organisation can be co-opted to serve in the FCT Security Committee,” Bello said.
He commended NAPTIP for the fight against human trafficking and assured its officials of possible areas of cooperation between FCTA and NAPTIP to ensure the success of the fight.
The minister, however, urged the agency to work very closely with the Social Development Secretariat of the FCT under the supervision of the Minister of State.
Contributing, the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, said that FCTA collaborating with NAPTIP would be fundamental in bringing about the needed sanity to the city and ridding the FCT of traffickers and their cohorts.
Earlier, Okah-Donlil had stressed the need for a stronger partnership with the FCT administration to take the campaign against human trafficking to all nooks and crannies of the territory.
The director-general said that NAPTIP had recorded tremendous success so far and would need the support of the FCTA to achieve more.
She said that while the agency had taken enlightenment campaign to schools and communities, a lot more needed to be done if human trafficking must be stamped out.
She solicited the assistance of the FCTA in the enforcement of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015, domiciled in NAPTIP but applicable only in the FCT.
She advised the FCTA to revoke the Certificate of Occupancy for buildings used for trafficking in persons, prostitution and other similar crimes.(NAN)