The state Ministry of Education is to collaborate with the Nigeria Immigration Service in the fight against human trafficking in Akwa Ibom.
The commissioner for education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, made this known, Thursday, when she played host to the comptroller of Immigration Service, Akwa Ibom State Command, CIS George Didel, who led senior officers of the command on a courtesy call on her.
Etiebet noted that “human trafficking is an evil that must be stamped out of our society,” adding that reports of sudden disappearances of children and adults for all forms of nefarious activities were real and palpable”.
She stressed the need to step up public enlightenment to reawaken people’s consciousness on the activities of scammers who come in diverse styles and antics to deceive unsuspecting people especially youngsters with all kinds ofoffers abroad, calling on the State Command of Nigeria Immigration Service to involve heads of schools in the sensitization programme.
The education commissioner commended CIS Didel for his pragmatic leadership and the great strides recorded so far under his watch, encouraging him to keep on the great work.
Earlier, the state comptroller of immigration, CIS George Didel, had said the visit was to interface with the commissioner, being a critical stakeholder to the success of the campaign against human trafficking.
Didel stated that human trafficking was on the rise in Akwa Ibom with gory stories of victims being used for modern day slavery, prostitution and recently ritual purposes.
He said the command is embarking on sensitization programmes in conjunction with critical stakeholders and has been to the 31 local government areas, where it mountedsurveillance on commercial vehicles and entry points and,therefore, sued for the Ministry’s support.
The state immigration boss assured that the command would continue to enhance border security and surveillance especially as Akwa Ibom has the longest coastal line and being second in foreign direct investment in the country.
He further stated that with the proposed commencement of regional flights by the state-owned airline with possible increase in entry of foreigners, there was also the need to mount immigration stand at the airport to ensure only those with valid traveling documents are allowed into the state.
Present during the courtesy visit were the permanent secretary in the Ministry, Lady Rose Bassey and the director SEQUAS, Mrs Roseline Mfon.