“We are a pretentious society.”
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters, NAPTIP, has attributed the proliferation of baby making factories to a lapse in the child adoption process.
The Head, Media and Communication of NAPTIP, Arinze Orakwue, said on Friday in Abuja, that stigmatisation by the society encouraged the increasing rise of baby making factories in the country.
He also expressed regret that the child adoption process had been hijacked by criminals, a situation, which, he said, had led to the prevalence of criminal activity in the society.
“What is happening is a criminalisation of the adoption process; some criminals have infiltrated the adoption programme. So, what has happened is that these people go on and set up homes – things that ordinarily institutions are allowed to deal with – and they go outside of the homes to do illegalities. Now what has also fast tracked it? We are a pretentious society.
“You have people needing children to adopt that do not want to make it public. Then you have a society that throws children who by reasons of misadventure have become pregnant. Then, you now have criminals who have pretentiously provided shelter and cover for these children to come and drop.
“So, when these three things meet that is when you have the issue we are talking about. Inadvertently you are producing merchandise for these individuals to deal with. But the funny thing is that they have taken a step further by picking up children, make them pregnant and they become baby making factories for these criminals to sell,” he explained.
He, however, said that the agency had all necessary steps to end the “scourge.”
He disclosed that the law setting up the agency was being amended to deal with the issue of sale of babies, adding that the law had been approved by the senate but was still awaiting adoption.
“Part of what is being incorporated is that some aspect of it as it affects the sale of babies – that is, exploitation of the offspring of another – will be captured in the amendment. So that those who exploit persons because they are teenagers, pregnant, out of wedlock – or their parents have thrown them out of the homes because of teenage pregnancy or what our society calls unwanted pregnancy – will be protected and it’s not an excuse to take away their babies and to sell them.
“Children have a right not to be sold, it is against their law. So, sale of babies is not permitted; the sale of any human being. That is the position,” Mr. Orakwue said.
According to Mr. Orakwue, NAPTIP is working closely with relevant agencies such as the police and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to find the perpetrators of “this hideous crime.”
He advised Nigerians, especially parents, to ensure that they provide adequate protection for their children to prevent them from becoming victims.
“It is the responsibility of parents to protect the child from the advances of people, who might pick them, abuse them, and exploit them to their own gain.
“You cannot sell a human being; there are procedures for giving up a child for adoption, which must be duly followed,” he said.
He listed Imo, Abia, Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Edo, Ondo, and Osun as states with the presence of homes for baby making.
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