As parts of efforts to strengthen the fight against migrants’ smuggling, the Nigeria Immigration Service has inaugurated the Objects of Smuggling of Migrants Trust Fund Management Board at the Service Headquarters Abuja.
The inauguration, according to a press statement e-signed and released to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP by the Service’s PRO, Assistant Comptroller of Immigration, Amos Okpu, represents a significant milestone in the Service’s determination to not only combat persons engaged in migrant smuggling but also ensure that victims rescued from migrants’ smugglers are rehabilitated to continue with their lives.
Speaking shortly after inaugurating the Board, the Honorable Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola represented by Mr. Peter Obodo a Director in the Ministry, lauded the Service for constituting the Board and called on members to get down to work to frontally combat the disturbing activities of smugglers of migrants. He noted that henceforth, migrants’ smugglers would no longer have it as business as usual.
Earlier in his speech, the Comptroller General of Immigration Isah Jere Idris who is the chairman of the Management Board of the Trust Fund, noted that ‘the activities of migrants’ smugglers have assumed unacceptable proportion and therefore every necessary effort should be put in place to checkmate them. The event we are having today is one of such efforts we consider important to make a strong statement about our readiness to give migrants smugglers a good fight’, NAOSNP gathered.
He reiterated that the task of the Board is quite tough and enormous and so would require huge investment of time, courage and experiences by members to make good successes in the fight against migrant smuggling.
Section 97 of the Immigration Act, 2015 provides for the establishment of the Objects of Smuggling of Migrants Trust Fund into which all proceeds of the sale of assets and properties of migrants’ smugglers shall be paid. It further provides that the Management Board of the Trust Fund shall comprise representatives from the following agencies:
(i). Ministry of Interior;
(ii). Comptroller General of Immigration as chairman;
(iii). Federal Ministry of Health;
(iv). Federal Ministry of Finance;
(v). Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development;
(vi). Office of the Accountant-General;
(vii). Office of the Auditor-General;
(viii). Central Bank of Nigeria;
(ix). National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) among others.
The highlight of the event was the declaration of inauguration on the nominated representatives of the agencies such as Ministry of Interior, Women Affairs and Social Development, NAPTIP, Office of the Accountant- General and among others who were present by Mr. Peter Obodo, who stood in for the Minister of Interior.
With the inauguration of the Management Board of the Trust Fund, a renewed war has been declared on smugglers of migrants and their illicit assets and estates within or outside the country, NAOSNP can confirm from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).