By Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA- The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama has pledged to collaborate with Embassies to stop issuance of visas to under-aged persons in other to eradicate human trafficking in the country.
Onyeama made the pledge when the DG NAPTIP led a delegation to visit him at the weekend in Abuja.
The DG was in the ministry to present the Minister with a report on human trafficking highlighting challenges and possible solutions.
” We are working towards collaborating with the embassies to stop issuance of visas to under-aged persons
Onyeama informed the DG of the ongoing work on regularisation and harmonisation of labour laws between Nigeria and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He said the ministry was working towards convening a meeting of all stakeholders; the Ministries of labour, Justice, Youth and NAPTIP for further deliberations on the issue.
The Minister suggested that NAPTIP officials should seek to share experience with their counterparts from the Philippines which had similar problems in the past and have made substantial progress.
Earlier, the DG said the agency’s challenges include the new dimension of trafficking which is mass recruitment of unskilled labour to gulf countries under false pretenses.
She noted with concern that prostitution appeared legitimate in destination counties.
”Other challenges are poor funding and non release of funds to the agency.
”State government are also not doing enough to assist NAPTIP with regards to the provision of shelter and food to victims who are deported back to the country, ”
She said that NAPTIP would train Nigerian foreign service officers in order to expose them to the ills and realities of human trafficking.
She said NAPTIP was currently working in partnership with the Ministry of justice to update current labour laws to serve as a check on emigration of unskilled workers.