Worried by the increasing number of trafficked women and girls out of Nigeria, community leaders and residents of Alimosho and Igando-Ikotun local councils have tasked government on the need to create employment for youths to solve the problem of trafficking and forced migration in Nigeria.
They made the call during a town hall meeting and community awareness programme on trafficking of women and girls in Ikotun organised by CLEEN Foundation in partnership with the United Nations Women Nigeria and the Government of Italy, as part of efforts to seek community-based solutions to address the trend in the country.
According to the chairman of Community Development Committee (CDC), Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area, Mr. Ademola Osibelowo, government should create jobs for the youths to stop the problem of human trafficking.
“When they initiate agricultural loans, it won’t get to the grassroots, it will hang up there. Nobody has been able to access the agricultural loan been created for farmers. All the empowerment they said they are doing, doling out N5,000 and N30,000 will not help the situation. I will also advise the youths not to look for white-collar jobs. I am a farmer by profession, I rear goats and turkey. There is a lot youths can do if supported by government.”
Responding to issues of girl-child trafficking in Alimosho, Progamme Manager, CLEEN Foundation, Ruth Olofin, revealed that the local council has been a source location for traffickers due to its large population and poor socio-economic status of residents.
“We have noticed that Alimosho, being the largest local government, has become a trafficking site. Recruitment is ongoing and it is a source location for traffickers in Nigeria. A lot of people are being trafficked out of Lagos from this area,” she said.
Meanwhile, the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Lagos Zonal Commander, Agaran Ganiu Alao, noted that traffickers risk minimum of five years and a maximum of 30 years in prison when convicted.