A new bill meant to ensure severe punishment for crimes relating to human trafficking in the country was approved by the federal government yesterday.
Following the approval which was made at the Federal Executive Council (FEC), President Goodluck Jonathan directed the Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, to forward a bill on 'Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition), Enforcement and Administration Bill 2012' to the National Assembly for passage into law. Adoke had submitted the document containing the bill to FEC.
Minister of information, Mr. Labaran Maku who briefed State House Correspondents after the weekly FEC meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja said the bill, when passed into law, would provide specific punishments for persons found guilty on issues of trafficking in persons and their collaborators.
Noting that the law would end forceful exportation and abuse of young Nigerians, particularly abroad, Maku said such penalties as captured in the proposed law include imprisonment between 5-7years and payment of substantial fines.
Maku stated: "The existing legal framework for addressing the subject matter which is the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition), Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003 (as amended), is fraught with deficiencies and grossly inadequate to effectively combat the scourge of human trafficking in Nigeria.
"The principal objective of the current Bill is to repeal and cure the defects in the existing law and reposition the NAPTIP for the effective delivery on its mandate and provide for more comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of human trafficking offences in Nigeria."