President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in New York said that the anti-corruption campaign of his administration and the economic programme of diversification will significantly address the lack of job opportunities and deprivation that make Nigerian youths vulnerable to recruitment by human traffickers.
He made the remark at the meeting on Modern Slavery hosted by the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Theresa May on the margins of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71), at the residence of the United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the UN.
Buhari, in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said: “We are also investing more on infrastructure development, education and health for our people. When the results of our efforts become manifest, the attraction of seeking greener pastures abroad will lessen,”
He commended the British Prime Minister for drawing the attention of the international community to such a serious matter to coincide with a time that the global focus is on migration and refugee crisis.
He therefore called for practical and innovative measures to address all the modern day human tragedies.
He said: “More worrisome is the fact that human trafficking and modern day slavery have created a dangerous political economy of their own. In consequence, this international criminality is defined by the activities of human traffickers that lure unsuspecting victims into forced labour, inhuman treatment, money laundering and prostitution.
He said that Nigeria is ready and willing to partner with other countries and international organizations to confront the phenomenon.
“We have a strong commitment to combating the menace of modern slavery, and will redouble our efforts to prohibit human trafficking, while providing succour to its hapless victims.” He added
President Buhari assured his audience to count on the support of Nigeria in dealing with the evil, which constitutes an unacceptable stain on human dignity and conscience in the 21st century.
On measures taken by the country against the evil practice, he said the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Nigeria Immigration Service have taken steps to establish a joint operational Working Group to combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants from the country.
“We are aware of the challenge for Nigeria, but our resolve to combat it is strong and unshakable,” the President declared.
President Buhari was accompanied to the high-level meeting by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Interior, Geoffrey Onyeama and Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau (rtd), respectively.