Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Utomi - There Is Disconnect Between Govt, People

A professor of political economy and management expert , Prof. Pat Utomi, has faulted Federal Government's effort to combat human trafficking, describing it as half- hearted insisting that there is a disconnect between government and the people.

Speaking in Lagos at the inauguration of Sympathy Worldwide Foundation (SWF), an NGO against human trafficking and sex-slavery, Utomi explained that the people in power are so distant from the masses that they hardly feel their pains and therefore continuously fail to react to their problems.

Also speaking, human rights activist and legal luminary, Femi Falana (SAN), pointed out that it is an offense for parents not to enroll their children in school, saying there are about 12 million Nigerians roaming the streets even when the country has enough money to put them in schools.

"As at the last time I investigated with the UBE in Abuja, about 32 billion naira was lying fallow. This money has not been assessed by state governments as every year, the Federal Government was supposed to put into that account 2 percent of the consolidated fund of the federation. State governments are required to contribute counterpart funding. Unfortunately, most state governments don't bother because we are talking about the children of the poor here", Falana said.

He commended the initiator of the foundation, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwuzor, for her courage in fighting modern slavery but warned that the body would meet a lot obstacles in trying to win the war from those who are profiting from the illicit trade.

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