The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says some Nigerians now take children to Niger Republic to get assistance from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Addressing journalists on Friday, NAPTIP north-west zonal commander, Abdullahi Babale, said the agency has received eight rescued under-aged children and arrested two suspected human traffickers in Kano State.
Babale said the rescued victims are between the ages of three months and 10 years, and comprise four males and four females.
He added that the two suspects are the victims’ biological mothers.
The NAPTIP commander said on April 22, the Niger consulate in Kano alerted NAPTIP that they had rescued eight victims of human trafficking and arrested two female suspected traffickers.
He explained that the victims and suspects were from Saminaka in Lere LGA of Kaduna State, and were heading to Algeria “for begging and exploitative labour”.
“Based on intelligence report, some people hire children and take them to Niger because the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Niger, when they see people stranded, accommodate, feed and give them money, counsel and rehabilitate them in 45 days, after which they will be deported back to Nigeria,” he said.
“Investigation is ongoing, and when concluded, the suspects will be charged to court,” he added.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Babale enjoined parents to take adequate care their wards, and called for collaborative efforts with the general public and various stakeholders to eradicate the menace of human trafficking.
One of the suspects, who is the mother of three of the victims, reportedly said she was going to Algeria to find a job.
“This is my first time. I don’t pray for even my enemy to embark on this kind of journey seeking for greener pasture. We have suffered a lot,” she said.