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NIGERIA

80,000 Nigerians abroad held as sex slaves, labourers – Reps

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The House of Representatives says 80,000 Nigerians are currently held as sex slaves and in forced labour across the world.

During plenary on Thursday, Chairman of the Committee on Diaspora, Tolu Akande-Sadipe, said the majority were in Lebanon, Mali, and across the Middle East.

She condemned the complacency of Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Labour and Employment.

Sadipe alerted that the Foreign Affairs Ministry, under the guise of diplomacy, was working to release alleged Lebanese trafficker, Wafic Mohammed Hamza.

Hamza was apprehended by National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for alleged trafficking of sixteen Nigerian girls to Lebanon.

“Records show that Wafic Hamza was complicit in the trafficking of 16 girls. 10 have been repatriated to Nigeria, and 6 remain stranded in Lebanon.

“Hamza is in custody in Ilorin, Kwara State, awaiting trial for trafficking. But it appears that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working for his release without any regard for our citizen’s losses, their repatriation back home and compensation.”

Sadipe decried the unprecedented rise in the dehumanization of citizens even in nations with a long history of cordial relationship with Nigeria.

“The ongoing sordid dehumanizing treatment foisted on Nigerians abroad particularly trafficked girls under the cover of foreign domestic staff has become very disturbing.

“According to NAPTIP, in the past one year, there has been an alarming number of daily distress calls from Nigerian women crying to be rescued due to the inhumane conditions they face in countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Oman, Lebanon and Mali.”

The legislator, in a motion raised, called for parliamentary intervention to ensure eradication of trafficking and maltreatment of citizens in a foreign land.

Sadipe implored President Muhammadu Buhari to sanction the Minister and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, for allegedly violating suspension of the issuance of International Recruiters Licenses.

She decried that many companies were excused from the mandatory annual reporting requirements on location and conditions of service of each recruited Nigerian taken abroad.

Speaking, Hon. Tolulope Akande, raised the plight of Nigerian students in Turkey who cannot afford the cost of evacuation flight.

She urged the House to compel the Foreign Affairs Ministry to negotiate affordable flights for nationals in the diaspora.

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NIGERIA

Enforce Public Procurement Laws – CSOs tells Buhari

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Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center CISLAC has called for the enforcement of public procurement laws in all contract bidding especially one that has to do with international organisations.

Citing the Process and Industrial Developments Limited P&ID case, the agency said the international scam would not have been possible if due diligence was followed and public officials, patriotic and honest.

The agency also decried the connivance by Nigeria public officers with foreign companies to defraud the country of monies that could be spent on providing basic amenities for the citizens.

While lamenting the non interest of National Assembly in the case, the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa expressed regrets over efforts by the lawyers representing the country to frustrate the case.

The CSO commended the proposed Database for recovered assets, but however called on the government clarify if the database will be accessible to the ordinary citizens.

CISLAC therefore called on citizens to continue to hold public officers accountable.

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NIGERIA

Nigerian Navy deploys 6 warships, 60 gunboats for operation in 4 States

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The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday deployed troops on board six warships and 60 gunboats for a special military exercise.

The drill targets pirates, oil smugglers and other criminalizes in the nation’s waters.

Rear Admiral David Adeniran, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Calabar, made the announcement.

He spoke at the flag-off of the exercise in Onne, Rivers State

The operation code-named, ‘Exercise Sanga Sung,’ means ‘Safe Transit’ in Ibibio dialect.

The States to be covered are Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Rivers.

The commander explained the operation would consolidate ‘Exercises Bekan Mmon I and II’

Adeniran added that the purpose was to train personnel and check the state of preparedness of fleets.

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NIGERIA

Buhari reports Boko Haram, bandits to UN

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday told the international community that Nigeria was still battling Boko Haram and bandits.

Buhari’s message was contained in his pre-recorded address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

He urged countries to take a strong action against illicit flow of small arms and light weapons.

“Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly on the continent of Africa. In Nigeria, we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits,” he said.

He noted that Nigeria counts on cooperation with neighbours and UN counter-terrorism bodies to overcome terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel Region.

The President said his administration will sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North-East.

On COVID-19, the Nigerian leader added his voice to supply of safe and effective coronavirus vaccines for all.

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