By Joseph Edeh
Abuja – The acting Inspector-General of Police ( I-G ), Mr Mohammed Adamu, has restated the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to support the fight against human trafficking in the country.
Adamu made the pledge at the opening of a five-day Interpol Workshop on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings and Migrant Smuggling in Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.
“The Nigeria police under my leadership shall continue to support National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) while strengthening its institutional capacity towards addressing the threat of human trafficking,“he said.
Adamu added that activities of human trafficking and migrants smuggling networks have evolved to become a major internal security challenge in the country.
He said that human trafficking and migrants smuggling have critical national security and development implications which required sustained intervention.
“These illegal activities do not only pose a threat to the victims as individuals but also to the countries involved at both ends,“he said.
The police boss said that the force, working in collaboration with NAPTIP and NIS have been at the forefront in the fight against the menace.
He said that the force recently raised the bar by upgrading its Anti-Human Trafficking section with the appointment of a Commissioner of police to head the section.
Adamu said the police over the years, have seconded personnel to NAPTIP to support and enhance their investigative and operational capacities towards attaining their anti-human trafficking mandate
“ I can assure that these initiatives shall be sustained under my leadership as the Inspector General of police,“he said.
He promised to engage with the heads of NAPTIP and all other strategic security agencies to strengthen inter-agency collaborative efforts to fight the scourge.
“I shall continue to deploy our unique intelligence and operational assets and draw on my strong network with INTERPOL to support this initiative,“he said.
He said the workshop would provide participants with the platform to create good working relationship for a robust professional synergy to fight the scourge in the country.
Earlier, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr Muhammed Babandede, called for increased support in the training of officers involved in the fight against human trafficking.
He was represented by Mr T. Lawal, a Controller of Nigeria Immigration Service at the occasion.
He advised the participants to take the training seriously as it would go a long way in the fight against human trafficking in the country.
Also speaking, the acting Head, National Crime Bureau, DCP Lanre Bankole, said human trafficking was one of the endemic areas that deserved serious attention.
He said that the police, Nigeria immigration service, NAPTIP, Nigeria Customs Service and the ministry of Justice, had fostered a partnership geared towards fighting the menace.
Bankole said the workshop would provide law enforcement agencies the opportunity to be abreast with modern techniques in the fight against the menace.
The workshop had participants from the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and the Ministry of Justice.(NAN)