The Edo State Government, on Friday, commenced the payment of N20,000 monthly stipend to four sets of Libya returnees in the state.
Speaking at Idia College, in Benin City, where the returnees converged to receive the stipends, the chairperson, Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, Yinka Omorogbe, said the stipend would be paid for three months.
Mrs. Omorogbe, who is the state Attorney General, said, “When the first set of returnees arrived the state, the governor promised to pay them monthly stipend. This is the first of the payment and it will be for three months.”
She added that the payment commenced after the state government completed the processing of the data of those captured in the first phase.
Some of the returnees expressed their appreciation to the government for the gesture, noting that the move to rescue and reintegrate them into society was laudable as it afforded them another chance at life.
Other recipients of the stipend appealed to the state government to increase the amount, noting that they were ready to participate in the vocational training programme.
The state government moved to reintegrate its indigenes in the wake of global outrage against the alarming trend of human trafficking, after a CNN report revealed that black Africans were being sold into slavery in Libya for as low as $400.
The state had earlier set up the Taskforce Against Human Trafficking to fast-track action against the trend.
The taskforce has tendered a bill for passage at the State House of Assembly to give bite to the campaign and set effective punitive measures against those fuelling the illegal trade in the state.