The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says education can go a long way to reducing human trafficking in the country.
Mr Hycent Okafor, an officer of the Public Enlightenment Unit, NAPTIP stated this on Friday in Abuja in the course of a panel discussion on child trafficking by stakeholders.
According to Okafor, life beyond the shores of the country is not all rosy.
“Awareness/education is very important; people have to understand that it is not paradise over there.
“Unless you get to know, you will continue to fall victim.
“Thousands are dying every day just to move from one point to another.
“Just last week another 500 people were drowned in the Mediterranean; but people are not aware.
“All they know is that things are bad here, it is paradise over there, but it’s not like that.
“You can still make it over here; they have to be aware of the alternatives to survival.’’
According to Okafor, the countries where Nigerians travel to are facing serious economic recession with a hig rate of unemployment amongst the people.
He stated that NAPTIP had prosecuted five human traffickers in the course of the year.
CP Interpol, Nigerian Police Force, Olusola Subair, said Nigerians needed to interface with law enforcement agents to clampdown on human traffickers.
He said with useful information that would help in their investigation, the police could prosecute a lot of human traffickers.
“We the police, when we arrest, our job is not done until we are able to prosecute and maybe secure judgment for whoever is arrested.
“But on many occasions, when we don’t have facts, it will be difficult for us to get justice for the traffickers, people are not forthcoming.
“They are not always willing to give information, so we need the assistance of people.
“If we can get useful information, we know that 80 per cent of our cases will be solved.
“So, we need people to interact with us; we need people to interface with us; we need people to give us information that will help us in prosecuting these people.’’
He said that a lot of Nigerians involved in the trafficking of persons were motivated by the lust for wealth.
Mr Joseph Osuigwe, the Director, DEVATOP Centre for Africa Development, said the country’s porous borders were encouraged a lot of people to move out of the country.
“The borders are very porous and so you can easily move somebody out of Nigeria without being noticed.
“Unawareness is also part of it; people are not aware of human trafficking, when you can identify a trafficker and be able to stay away from being trafficked.
“The awareness is not 100 per cent ok, our own organisation, we have being at the fore front in combating human trafficking, so far we have trained up to 4,500 people on how to combat human trafficking, because for us, the fight against human trafficking is everyone’s responsibility.’’
Mrs Imabong Sanusi, the Executive Director, Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) said traffickers should be jailed.
Sanusi said that traffickers were not faceless adding that they lived among the citizens.
She however adviced that human traffickers should look inward for what they can do instead of indulging in criminal alternatives of income.