Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, has cautioned desperate Nigerians against indiscriminate migration, known as “Japa,” to avoid falling victim to migrant smugglers.

The DG made this statement during a special edition of the online interactive program, “Conversation with NAPTIP,” which marked the Agency’s 20th Anniversary and the 2023 World Day Against Human Trafficking. This platform facilitates interaction between the Agency and stakeholders to improve service delivery.

During the event, Prof. Waziri-Azi highlighted some of NAPTIP’s achievements over the past 20 years, including the conviction of 624 traffickers, rescuing over 22,000 trafficking victims, national coverage in 32 states, sponsoring 19 survivors through university education, and developing counter-trafficking policies. NAPTIP also engages with stakeholders, including the Justice sector through the National Judicial Institute (NJI), and collaborates with global partners to address emerging trends in human trafficking.

Regarding the dynamism of human trafficking in Nigeria, the DG emphasized its national spread, citing emerging trends such as online catfishing of youngsters, fake job and scholarship offers, trafficking under the guise of sporting activities, orphanage trafficking, and the buying and selling of babies.

She expressed confidence in Nigeria’s preparedness to tackle human trafficking, attributing it to partnerships with global anti-trafficking law enforcement agencies and corporate bodies like Meta (owner of Facebook) and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

The event served as a platform to raise awareness about human trafficking and NAPTIP’s efforts in combatting this heinous crime, while also cautioning the public against risky migration practices.