Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week’s edition of the Inspiring Country Actions Series! As usual, in this segment, we showcase interesting Government policies and actions to the world as part of our Rebrand Nigeria Campaign.

This week, our focus is on how the Government is fighting illegal migration and trafficking in persons using the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP).

It is not a breaking news to hear that the search for survival and greener pastures forces millions of Nigerian youths to gamble with death in attempts to cross over to Europe and other parts of the world.

These youths see illegal migration as the best alternative, given the difficulty and resources involved in migrating through the legitimate routes. Unfortunately, only a few of them who set out on these dangerous missions live to tell their stories.

Most of the successful ones are subjected to inhumane treatments, which they must endure since they do not have official documents permitting them to live and do businesses in their host country, while many are repatriated once they are caught.

According to a survey done by NAPTIP, the major trafficking routes from Nigeria are in Edo, Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno, Calabar and Lagos, and from border areas around Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mali.

Libya and its neighbouring countries in the North African region are the major exit points for West African migrants journeying to Europe. These illegal migrants prefer to travel via the Mediterranean Sea to avoid being caught by security operatives. Since the death of Gaddafi, Libya has been thrown into a state of near anarchy, characterized by violence and a proliferation of small arms and light weapons in and out of the country, a situation that is supporting modern slave trade in the country.

This type of migration is largely facilitated through forgery of passports, visas, false asylum claims, and bogus marriages. As a responsive Government, the Nigerian government has taken on a leading role in combating the illegal migration of its citizens.

What the government is doing…

Nigeria is one of the countries in West Africa that has adopted a national policy on migration with support from the International Organization for Migration and European Union.

The policy provides an appropriate legal framework and covers such other issues as migration and development, migration and cross-cutting social issues, national security and irregular movement, forced displacement, human rights issues, organized labour migration, internal migration, the national population, migration data and statistics, among other elements.

In addition, the policy proposed the establishment of a commission to coordinate different management aspects of the migration policy. As a result, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRMI) statutorily became the focal agency on migration-related issues, in close coordination with other agencies implementing the policy.

In response to the harsh conditions that Nigerians were facing in Libya in 2017, the Nigerian government, through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), airlifted over 5,000 stranded Nigerians in Libya back to Nigeria.

Those who were repatriated back to the country have been engaged by the government in various skills acquisition programs, including shoe-making, tailoring, hairdressing, etc.

President Buhari’s administration is really working very hard to eliminate human trafficking by disbursing more funding to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP); supporting the signing of a UN Action Plan to end and prevent the recruitment of children by the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF); beginning a sensitization campaign to identify and prevent sexual exploitation and abuse of IDPs; among other actions.

At the #UgwumbaLeadershipCenter, we see these policies as real “inspiring country actions” from President Muhammadu Buhari.

What do you have to say about this fight against illegal migration and death sentences organized by many Nigerian youths for themselves?

Remember, this campaign is powered by the Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa.


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