In recognition of the growing concerns around human trafficking in Africa, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), an African founded and funded 21st centuryphilanthropic organisation, hosted the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli, recently.
Speaking at the event, Okah-Donli, said UNESCO ranked human trafficking as the third most lucrative criminal enterprise in Nigeria, while emphaising that the country needs good laws, sustained funding and support from local and global stakeholders to execute the war against human trafficking.
Said she: “We can no longer wait for government alone to fight this war. Many victims are on standby, anxious to be fully reintegrated into society. At the agency, we are desperate for assistance to empower and rehabilitate these millions of victims in need. Thus we are identifying and approaching organisations like the Tony Elumelu Foundation for support.
“We need to refurbish and rehabilitate our existing shelters, facilitate periodic provision of food, clothing and medical consumables and shelter for victims. We also need assistance in the development of standard skills acquisition centres in strategic locations for the training of vulnerable persons, as well as rescued victims.”
In response, Mr. Tony Elumelu, founder, TEF, commended Okah-Donli for her accomplishments at the agency, including the conviction of over 325 persons, and successful rehabilitation of more than 12,000 victims.
Emphasising that the NAPTIP boss was a former staff of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Elumelu said: “She is an alumni of the United Bank for America, Africa’s global bank, thus we are not surprised at what she has become. We predicted that she would attain such great heights because of the passion she has always had for human trafficking.”
He pledged commitment to the war against human trafficking, saying: “We support what you are doing and we stand behind you. The Tony Elumelu Foundation believes in the empowerment of our youths and as we all know, they cannot be empowered if they are not