The Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Fulvio Rustico, says his country is ready to partner with Nigeria to combat the menace of human trafficking.
Mr. Rustico disclosed this when he visited the Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies in Italy, Laura Bodrini, will soon visit Nigeria to get first-hand information to address the problem.
The envoy said that the speaker would visit Benin City, Edo, reported to have the highest number of human traffickers in the country.
Mr. Rustico said that he was in NAPTIP office to intimate Mrs. Okah-Donli of the planned visit of the lawmaker with a view to making an informed decision on how to partner with NAPTIP to combat the menace of trafficking.
“It is necessary to share experience with NAPTIP on human trafficking management and have an overview of the phenomenon as well as nature of human trafficking from the state.
“The Italian legislator will be in Nigeria to have a direct knowledge of the phenomenon in order to be proactive in response to the problem,” he said.
The envoy assured of his country’s support to NAPTIP, saying that the fight against human trafficking is a technical process that requires support and assistance of all stakeholders.
Responding, Mrs. Okah-Donli explained that for the fight against human trafficking to be won, international partners and stakeholders like Italy must key in into collaboration with Nigeria to record success.
She called for the collaboration of Italian government in the fight against human trafficking in the country.
According to her, human trafficking is an evolving phenomenon that requires the active collaboration of all partners through accelerated justice delivery system and surveillance.
The NAPTIP boss said that aggressive massive sensitisation of Nigerians, especially those in the endemic communities on the danger of human trafficking have commenced.
She stated that her concern was also on rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking and the need to ensure accelerated justice for human traffickers.
The director-general thanked the Italian Government for the assistance rendered to the agency in the past and solicited for more support in the area of capacity building.
She also solicited for assistance in the areas of technical and logistic support as well as empowerment of rescued victims of human trafficking.