Paula Okojie Foundation, a German-Nigerian humanitarian organisation, has offered to partner with the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on combatting human trafficking in Nigeria.
The Foundation made the offer when its founder/director, Mr Ambrose Okojie, met the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, in her office in Abuja on Friday (17 September).
Okojie, who led a delegation including several board members of his Foundation, congratulated the NAPTIP chief on her recent appointment and assured the agency of the support of his Foundation.
He expressed the concerns of the Paula Okojie Foundation, which supports vulnerable women and girls in Nigeria, over human trafficking and the ordeal faced by the Nigerian victims of exploitative prostitution in Europe. He offered to work closely with NAPTIP to tackle the scourge.
In her response, Dr Waziri-Azi gave an overview of the NAPTIP’s mandate and operational structure. While she emphasized the need for the empowerment of victims of human trafficking, her number one strategic priority was “the investigation, prosecution and conviction of high-profile traffickers”. She therefore called on stakeholders to share useful information with NAPTIP.
“When we have more prosecutions and less impunities, that is what send the message to everyone that Trafficking in Persons is not tolerated,” she added.
Okojie presented a congratulatory letter of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Germany (NIDO Germany) to Dr Waziri-Azi on behalf of the group’s president, Femi Awoniyi.
NIDO Germany is the organisation recognised by the Federal Government to represent Nigerians living in Germany. In the letter, Awoniyi hailed Waziri-Azi’s appointment which he describes as “very fitting because of your experience as a seasoned lawyer and human rights advocate”.
“We note with sadness and deep worry that thousands of Nigerians are stranded as irregular migrants in various parts of the world where they are exposed to cruel violations of their human rights and have to live in appalling conditions,” the letter continued.
“Studies have shown that most irregular migrants would not have embarked on the journey if they had been properly informed.
“NIDO Germany would therefore like to partner with NAPTIP to enlighten young Nigerians on the risks and dangers of irregular migration while providing them information on opportunities of legal migration to Europe,” the letter concluded.
NIDO Germany is the umbrella body of Nigerian organisations in Germany.