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Nigeria: Humanitarian Actors Establish First Anti-Trafficking Task Force in North-East

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In a bid to better respond to trafficking in persons in Borno State, north-east Nigeria, where 7.1 millionpeople need humanitarian assistance, twenty organizations are joining forces in a new Anti-Trafficking Task Force (ATTF) in humanitarian action.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), jointly with Heartland Alliance International and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) launched the Task Force on 9 July in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno. The Task Force will advocate for the inclusion of anti-trafficking measures in the regional humanitarian response and will operate under the Protection Sector Working Group (PSWG).

Humanitarian actors face many obstacles in uncovering violations, identifying victims and quantifying the overall scale of Trafficking in Persons (TiP). Victims of trafficking rarely self-identify or self-report, for fear of stigmatization or lack of access to reporting mechanisms. A fear of repercussions also often deters people who witness trafficking.

The ongoing conflict and displacement exacerbate the risk of trafficking, especially for female and child-headed households, unaccompanied and separated children and youth. These groups are at high risk of gender-based violence, abduction and recruitment in armed groups.

More than 130,000 people have displaced in north-east Nigeria since January 2019 in north-east Nigeria, increasing the population of already stretched camps. As thousands of people lack shelter, they are forced to sleep in the open air in overcrowded camps which further increases their vulnerability to protection risks and exploitation.

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“Prevention and response to trafficking in persons are frequently overlooked or not addressed in a comprehensive manner in humanitarian settings. Anti-trafficking measures save lives and should be incorporated in all interventions in areas of conflict,” said Memory Mwale, IOM Nigeria Counter-Trafficking Project Officer, reiterating the Organization’s commitment to tackling this issue alongside the Government of Nigeria.

The ATTF will be co-chaired by the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development. Its 20 member organizations include government, UN agencies, international NGOs and civil society. IOM, together with UNHCR and Heartland Alliance International, will provide technical support. Last year, IOM joined a technical working group on national awareness raising to combat TiP chaired by NAPTIP.

IOM has a long-standing cooperation with the Borno State government in the response to combat TiP. The IOM Counter-Trafficking Unit strengthens the capacity of stakeholders to provide protection and assistance to identified victims as well as to mitigate and prevent trafficking through raising awareness and mainstreaming anti-trafficking measures into humanitarian interventions. IOM interventions in this area ensure that victims can access essential services including shelter, mental health and psychosocial support, among others. Victims of trafficking are also provided with small-scale livelihood support to rebuild their lives and provide a means of subsistence for their families.

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“The ATTF will foster a collaborative and multi-sectoral effort among the Borno state government institutions, CSOs, INGOs, the relevant UN agencies and affected populations to work together to provide comprehensive services to identify victims of trafficking and respond effectively to trafficking in persons,” said Mafa Mitika, the Zonal Commander for NAPTIP in the north east, at the first meeting of the Task Force.

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FG To Review Allowances Of Governors, Lawmakers, Others

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As part of efforts  targeted at  reducing the cost of governance, the Federal Government of Nigeria has directed the revenue mobilisation commission to review the allowances of political office holders including governors and lawmakers.

Senator Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, made this known  on Wednesday, during a meeting with members of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Speaking further, Ngige also decried the huge sum of recurrent expenditure in the proposed 2020 budget, insisting that there is no option other than to cut down the cost of running the government.

He said, “we cannot allow the government to shut down the economy because they want to pay salaries and wages. The 2020 budget of N10.3trillion has N3.88trillion as personal cost without an overhead. A budget that is 76% recurrent and 24% capital, for me, this is nothing to cheer about.

“Revenue mobilisation commission will also beam a searchlight and review what they are giving for political officeholders. Some of the allowances in their prescriptions are not allowances that should be gotten.

“What is a governor doing with hazard allowance? What is the hazard about, when the state is feeding him and his family? What is a governor doing with constituency allowance? The whole state is his constituency.

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“These are things that will be holistically reviewed”.

The Minister, however added  that both workers and politicians must be ready to make sacrifices so that more money will be available for infrastructure.

 

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Oyo, FRSC Embarks on Licence Plate Number Enforcement

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Oyo State Government in collaboration with Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) has embarked on enforcement exercise to ensure all motorcycle and tricycle riders get necessary driving documents and plate numbers so as to curb crime and other misdemeanors.

 

While addressing newsmen in his office shortly after the exercise, the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Internal Revenue Service (OYSIRS), Aremo John Adeleke, said most of the crimes being perpetrated in the State were done by motorcycle riders that did not have registration documents which could be used to trace them.

 

The Chairman explained further that the government wanted to make sure all road users comply with all extant registration and vehicle renewal requirements for them to operate business activities.

 

He said, “our people are alarmed that there are quite many motorcyclists and cyclists in the nooks and crannies of our society without any registration, this gives room for a lot of crimes and their ability to escape, It is important for motorists and riders to register and obtain their license and plate numbers, those who must renew their vehicle papers and license should also proceed to do so.

 

“Complying with registration is just one of the criteria in the process of obtaining a license, there are necessary tests and other activities such as data capturing before its procurement. In addition, there are enough plate numbers so the public need not do business with touts and third parties to get their papers,” he admonished.

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Aremo Adeleke advised the people of the State not to wait for enforcement before doing the right thing, assuring the public that the next phase of the exercise would concentrate more on private and commercial vehicle owners, urging them to do the needful before being enforced.

 

Speaking earlier on behalf of FRSC before the commencement of the exercise, the Deputy Corp Commander, Mr Olalekan Morakinyo told the task force to carry out the assignment with caution, stressing that they should make inquiries on why those concerned refused to obtain documents before plying the roads and direct them to appropriate quarters for the next step.

 

The exercise covered Onireke, Dugbe and Sango all within Ibadan metropolis with plan by the agency toit to the rest of the State in due course.

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Air Force Wings Nigerian First Female Combat Pilot, Others

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The Nigerian Air Force has commissioned its first female fighter pilot and the first female combat helicopter pilot in the history of the service.

Kafayat Sanni and Tolulope Arotile, trained in the United States and South Africa respectively were commissioned alongside eleven  other fighter pilots.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar at the induction ceremony which took place at the NAF Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday also winged the first female Air Warrant officer.  Grace Garba who was elevated last week.

According to Air Marshal Abubakar who conducted the winging alongside other invited guests,  capable human resources was at the heart of the Nigerian Air Force agenda.

He maintained that the force will continue to do everything within the available resources to improve its lot as far as human capital is concerned.

 

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