Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Tolulope Akande- Sadipe, yesterday, accused the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment of complicity in human trafficking, especially of Nigerian girls to other parts of the world. This is even as she disclosed that “today we have over approximately 20,000 girls in Mali, 2,000 girls in Saudi Arabia, 1,500 girls in Abu Dhabi, 2,000 girls in Dubai and 20,000 girls in Libya.”
Akande-Sadipe made this allegation while addressing journalists following the absence of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige at schedule hearing on trafficking. She said for the fifth time, the minister was absent at the meeting and was again represented by a permanently secretary who claimed he was new and did not understand what transpired prior to his engagement in spite of having sign a recruiters’ licence earlier this year when there was a moratorium placed on such licenses since 2017.
She said: “The House committee on diaspora in a bid to find workable solution in tackling the menace of trafficking and the dehumanizing condition of Nigerians abroad by some local and international syndicates have been having a series of interagency meetings with stakeholders in this regard but regrettably the Minister of Labour that is at the centre of the whole controversy has intentionally refused to honour the Committee invitation for five consecutive meetings. “It appears that there is a clear incompetence or complicity within the ministry that has led to compromise trafficking and abuse of Nigeria citizen. Investigation to date shows that licences were issued after the moratorium that allowed agents traffic our girls.
“Agents were allowed to take Nigerians to Lebanon, a country that doesn’t have a labour pact with Nigeria. Licences were issued to companies who haven’t complied with CAC /FIRS requirements. “Girls were allowed to be taken out by agents without the mandatory counselling and orientation. Agents were allowed to operate without annual reports on the domestic staff sent abroad.”