The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in Oyo State on Saturday said it rescued no fewer than twenty-eight victims of child trafficking between January and April this year.

Assistant Comptroller, Anti Human Trafficking and Child Labour unit of NIS, Foluso Akintola made this revelation in Ibadan, the state capital.

Akintola while speaking revealed that with the yearly increase in the number of rescued trafficked victims in Ibadan and its environs, Oyo state is becoming the hot spot for human trafficking in Nigeria.

Akintola who was a discussant at a book reading entitled “From frying pan to Fire”, said Nigeria is the only country that serves as source, transit and destination for trafficking.

He said, “The Immigration service in Oyo State has rescued several children of ages between 6 and 10 years. These are gross minors while many minors of less than 18 years old have equally been rescued in lbadan and its environs.

“These are mostly used as house-helps, shop attendants and vendors/hawkers. In 2016 we rescued 134 victims and arrested 38 traffickers, 107 end-users with 11 victims, 4 traffickers processed to NAPTIP.

“In 2017, 139 victims were rescued, 1 trafficker and 1 end-user were arrested and processed to NAPTIP. In 2018, 163 victims, 27 traffickers arrested while 1 victim and 1 trafficker were processed to NAPTIP.

“In the 1st quarter of this year 2019, 28 victims have been rescued, 8 traffickers with 12 end-users arrested.

“The phenomenon of human trafficking has become in Nigeria, a big illegal criminal business. Occurrences of these businesses are more prominent in Oyo, Edo and Delta states of Nigeria.

“They are now a major national problem for the already crestfallen Nigeria. The fear in Nigeria of sudden disappearance of children and adults to migration and human trafficking is real and palpable.

“The problems posed by these issues have far-reaching effects on Nigerian’s image to the outside world. Recent media reports tend to portray Nigeria as a major hub for illicit movements of persons.

“Italy used to be the destination of most trafficked victims from Nigeria but with high mortality rate on the desert and the Meditaranian Sea in Lampedusa, the traffickers tend to have changed destination to the Arab world.

“The latest operational system of these traffickers today is a promise of a lucrative job in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia, Qartar, Oman, Libya etc. They recruit ladies from here to be shipped to the Arab world. Most of who end up in prostitution, while others
employed see the travails of these trafficked persons on all information as house helps known as ‘Shagala’.

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