By Gift Chapi-Odekina
The House of Representatives committee on diaspora has accused the ministry of Labour and productivity of aiding human trafficking from Nigeria to other countries.
Chairman of the committee, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe disclosed this during a press briefing by the committee in Abuja.
She also disclosed that over 20,000 girls were been traffiked abroad. Giving the details she said the records available to the committee shows 20000 girls in Mali, 2000 girls in Saudi Arabia,1000 girls in Oman,150 girls in Abu Dhabi, 2000 girls in Dubai, 20000 girls in Lybia, adding that the girls were being held as slaves in remote areas.
“In a bid to find workable solution in tackling the menace of trafficking and the dehumanizing condition of Nigerians abroad by some local and international syndicates have been having a series of interagency meetings with stakeholders in this regard but regrettably the minister of labour that is at the centre of the whole controversy has intentionally refused to honour the committee invitation for five consecutive meetings.
“We have invited 5 times today being the 5th and he was again represented by a Permanent secretary who claims he is new and does not understand the workings and what transpired prior to his engagement in spite of having sign a recruiters licence earlier this year where there was a moratorium placed on such licenses since 2017.
“It appears that there is a clear incompetence or complicity within the ministry that has led this compromise trafficking and abuse of Nigeria citizen,” she said.
Sadipe further stated that investigation to date shows licences were issued after the moratorium that allowed agents traffic our girls, agents were allowed to take Nigerians to Lebanon a country that doesn’t have a labour pact with Nigeria, licence where issued to companies who haven’t complied with CAC / FIRS requirements, Girls were allowed to be taken out by agents without the mandatory counselling and orientation
Again the chairperson alleged that agents were allowed to operate without annual reports on the domestic staff sent abroad while Labour has refused to submit documentation requested.
“Where documentation was provided by the labour the investigation revealed that there were inconsistencies in the report from labour in comparison with FIRS / CAC NAPTIP, justice and NSITF even where labour made a report submission their submission was in conflict with the documentation backing it up also submitted
“Evidence shows that the ministry has such a great disregard for the life of Nigerian citizens by encouraging their trafficked.
” The committee will have no choice but to escalate the distain for the life of a Nigerian in very dire circumstances abroad all because they wanted to do legitimate work to feed their families these are our children mothers and it must stop. And it would be taken up by the parliament at plenary”, she added.