29 January 2013

Nigeria: FG Approves Action Plans for Combating Human Trafficking

In a bid to step up efforts at combating human trafficking in the country, the National Economic Council (NEC) on Tuesday in Abuja approved action plans for state governments.

Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia made this known while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the monthly NEC meeting, which was presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.

He said the approval of the action plans followed the adoption of the recommendations of the Ad-hoc Committee on the State Buy-in to the activities of National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP).

The Committee was headed by the Minister of the National Planning Commission, Dr Shamsuddeen Usman.

He said Council recommended the development and strengthening of the States Social Welfare System's for Child Protection.

"Council also considered ways the States can buy into activities of NAPTIP in order to combat this issue of child trafficking and considered the development and strengthening of the States Social Welfare System's for Child Protection.

"It also recommended the Provision of basic needs, including medical care, educational, vocational and recreational facilities for victims of trafficking, mobilizing and providing support for civil society organizations working on combat-trafficking and related issues.

"It also recommended assisting and empowering identified victims of trafficking by providing educational grants, scholarships and other incentives and also enabling and fully implementing the Child's Rights Law in each State."

According to him, Council adopted the recommendations and directed the Minister of National Planning and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the Chief Executive of NAPTIP to liaise with the States towards ensuring better collaboration in addressing the situation.

He said three States, namely Abia, Kogi and Ogun would be treated as pilot cases in the bid to combat the societal scourge.

Also addressing the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of National Planning, Dr Shamsuddeen Usman, said he had briefed the council on the status of the ongoing implementation of the State GDP Computation Programme embarked upon by the Commission, the National Bureau of Statistics, the Governors' Forum and the states.

He said the states' GDP computation programme was being implemented in two phases.

Usman stated that the first phase, which covered the six pilot states in each of the geo-political zones, would be completed in April while the second phase would cover the remaining states between April and Dec. 2013.

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