By MBAFAN ADE –A Regional Training Academy for the teaching and learning of counter trafficking issues is to be established in Nigeria by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The Director-General of the Agency, Julie Okah – Donli disclosed this in Abuja while inaugurating a 27 member Steering Committee for the establishment of the Academy.
The NAPTIP boss said that the need to close the existing knowledge gaps amongst Law Enforcement Agencies in the Country and those within the West African region on issues involved in the fight against human trafficking as national and international crime with huge implications for national security and sovereignty has made it necessary for such an Academy to be established.
‘’The Steering Committee is to see to the successful establishment of a standard Regional Training Academy that will offer solution to all institutional needs and satisfy the requirements around the spheres of Human Trafficking and other related matters, towards effective continuous capacity building of NAPTIP Personnel and other relevant stakeholders within the country and the West African region, as well as meeting the needs of National and International Researchers in the field of Human Trafficking’’, the Director–General said.
She explained that the Agency being the first of its kind in the world with a huge mandate of preventing the crime; prosecuting offenders; protecting and assisting rescued victims as well as partnering with all stakeholders to curb the menace has over the years provided a learning ground for various stakeholders within and outside the country.
‘’Many of our partners from the West African region have over the years relied on us to provide training on how best to fight the scourge bearing in mind our many years of experience in the fight against human trafficking. Many including those from Europe have been here on study tours and we need to properly put in place a befitting place to help in raising the capacity of our personnel, those of our sister Agencies and those from abroad especially from our sub-region’’, she stated
She also explained that the need to ensure proper identification and profiling of both suspected human traffickers and victims of trafficking have made it imperative to build a regional academy on counter human trafficking in Nigeria.
She said,” NAPTIP, just like any other Organizations, is composed of human and material resources and the level of employee efficiency is directly proportionate to the quality of training he is exposed to. Hence, no personnel can deliver any productivity beyond the level of his capacity acquired through training
“Since its inception, the Agency has had to build the capacity of its manpower through improvised and haphazard ways, leading to an uncoordinated manpower development process and a total lack of a single and up-to-date training databank, as is the standard practice in other organisations.
“The Academy when fully in place shall take full charge of the Training needs of the Agency and be directly responsible for the professional development of officers of the Agency. It shall play a pivotal role in research, documentation, publication and training of officers to constantly update officers’ knowledge on emerging trends in TIP, thus providing the needed raw materials for precise policy/legal reviews that will provide adequate response to the scourge of trafficking in persons.
The Director-General also noted that an enabling environment for the smooth take-off of the Training Academy has already been put in place with the successful development of a standard Training Policy, Training Curriculum, Training Modules, and Trainers’ Guide by the Agency through the European Union and ECOWAS sponsored project entitled: Support To Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM West Africa). The project was implemented by the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).