Wife of the Governor of Anambra State, Mrs Nonye Soludo on Thursday called for tougher sanctions against perpetrators, to end the current spate of incidences of human trafficking.
Mrs Soludo stated this when a delegation from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, visited her at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.
The NAPTIP team was in Anambra State to train a task force for the implementation of the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking, which was initiated by the Federal Government in March, this year.
Addressing the delegation, Mrs Soludo said that with stringent laws and follow-up actions, the human trafficking business will lose its incentives, while those who engage in it will be forced out of business.
The governor’s wife also explained that she has been engaged in a series of meetings with women groups from different organizational backgrounds, with a view to getting them to take charge of their homes, and to also get involved in lucrative agriculture.
“We have already evolved plans to train Anambra women in different skill areas and subsequently empower them.
“That way, their vulnerability to trafficking inducements would be cut down,” the Anambra first lady opined.
Mrs Soludo who assured the delegation of a stronger collaboration with Anambra State, noted that as a child advocate, she sees the task as a personal obligation.
On her part, the Commissioner of Women and Social Welfare, Mrs Ify Obinabo, explained that her ministry and the Anambra State Command of NAPTIP, have a mutual working network, revealing that they were already setting up a shelter for those rescued from trafficking and abuses.
Earlier, the Zonal Commander, Enugu Zonal Command of NAPTIP, Mrs Nneka Ajie, explained that human trafficking has taken a whole new level, with eighty percent of cases happening within Nigeria.
She lamented that with South East being one of the major geopolitical zones affected by the anomaly, serious efforts are necessary through stronger collaboration with relevant stakeholders to stem the tide.
“What is going on now is a well-connected system of human trafficking, that cuts across even public offices.
“Therefore, to stop this illegality, all stakeholders must have their hands on deck.
“Our visit to the Anambra first lady is to get her buy-in into the war against human trafficking because we believe that if the state government takes ownership of this war in their locality, the job would have been made a whole lot easier for NAPTIP,” she emphasized.
The governor’s wife alongside the team later made a formal pledge to be at the vanguard of human trafficking war, kicking off from the theme of this year’s World Trafficking Day: “Use and Abuse of Technology”.