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Reps to investigate rising wave of human trafficking

27 September 2012, 12:34

Abuja - The House of Representatives on Wednesday, mandated the Joint Committee on Youth, Interior, Women Affairs, Justice and Foreign Affairs to investigate the rising cases of Human trafficking in Nigeria.  

This resolution followed  a motion moved by Rep. Beni Lar (PDP-Plateau) which was unanimously adopted.  

Leading the debate, Lar said that Nigeria was downgraded from tier one to tier two status by the Department of State of the US on Trafficking in Persons 2012 Report.  

Lar said that human trafficking had caused untold hardship to many persons and families in Nigeria.  

 She stressed the need to collaborate with other countries to stamp out the trend.  

 The lawmaker said that government was not doing enough in terms of provision of adequate resources to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for it to carry out its activities.  

 Lar noted that if urgent steps were not taken to address the problem, Nigeria would be sanctioned as the foreign assistance ceased.   

She accused  some judges  of giving convicted human traffickers option of fine that is not commensurate to the gravity of  the crime committed.  

"Many judges are in the habit of allowing convicted human traffickers options of fine amounting to paltry sums of money that greatly detracts from the  efforts to deter such persons from committing the same crime again.''  

Rep. Samson Osagie (ACN-Edo), the minority whip, noted that nations that encourage  human trafficking do not support the United Nations resolutions on human trafficking.  

He underscored the need for the Federal Government to fund NAPTIP so as  to enable it to  carry out its statutory duties.  

Rep. Chris Eta (PDP-Cross River) said the House must support the Agency for it to  combat human trafficking.  

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to come up with a supplementary budget to tackle the menace of flood in the country.  

It would be recalled that the Senate at plenary session on Tuesday took a similar decision.  

This resolution followed the motions moved by Reps Buba Jubril (PDP-Kogi), Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta), Stella Dorgu ( PDP-Bayelsa) on flood in Lokoja, Sagbama and Asaba respectively which was adopted.  

Leading the debate, Jubril said that the flood had caused untold hardship to  the people of Kogi.  

Elumelu said that since the flooding started, the affected people had been cut off from the other parts of  Delta.  

Also speaking, Dorgu told the House that women and children were facing  untold hardship as a result of the flooding.  

In his contribution, Rep. Uche Ekwunife (APGA-Anambra), the chairman, House Committee on Environment, suggested that the House toe the line of the Senate and called on the Federal Government to submit a supplementary budget.  

She said the Ecological Fund meant for this kind of situation had continued to remain a mystery.  

"The committee has requested for the statement of account of the fund from the Accountatnt-General of the Federation but had not gotten it."   

Ekwunife expressed dismay that no solution had yet been found to the continued flooding of several parts of the country.  

She advocated the enactment of a law t to create an agency to oversee the ecological fund which, she said, had not been utilised well.  

 In his  submission, Rep. Leo Ogor (PDP-Delta) said the Federal Government should explain to the House what it was doing with the fund meant to tackle these situations.   

Rep. Eziuche Ubani (PDP-Imo) said that states and local government councils were not doing enough to tackle the problem of flooding.  

Ubani said that Nigeria had no emergency management plan on ground that could  handle this kind of situation.  

The motion was referred to the Joint Committee on Disaster Management, Health and Works for  their  input.



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