The Nigerian Information and Culture Minister, Mr Lai Mohammed has tasked film makers in the country to make movies that expose the stigma and health hazards associated with prostitution and forced labour.
The Minister made the call in Abuja at the commemoration of the International Day for the remembrance of slave trade and its abolition organised by the Ministry and UNESCO.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Ms Grace Gekpe also acknowledged the great role played by the media in awareness creation, which has proven to be an effective tool for tackling human trafficking in particular.
He also announced in his speech that the National Orientation Agency will commence a campaign on the eradication of human trafficking, terrorism, kidnapping, bombing and other similar vices.
“The Nigerian Government is creating more opportunities for the youths so as to discourage illegal migration, he said.
The Minister applauded the theme for this year’s commemoration event. The theme was tagged My Hands My Freedom: A road map to curtailing irregular migration.
According to him, the theme is thought provoking and captures the reality of modern day slavery, including human trafficking, voluntary slavery, child labour, forced marriage and forced labour. The theme also captures the various government efforts being put in place to tame the dreaded menace.
“For us in Nigeria, the day is a constant reminder that over 40 decades, more than 18 million men, women and children were forcefully removed from African countries to the Americas, Caribbean and Europe and were victims of the catastrophic transatlantic slave trade.
“This tragic period marked one darkest chapter in human history, and this commemoration suffered and died under the brutal slavery system, as well as its abolition.”
On that note, the Minister reiterated the commitment of the federal government to tackle the spate of unemployment within the youthful population.
“One of the governments social intervention program, The N-power program has created thousands of jobs for graduates, also the Anchor Borrowers program has created thousands of jobs for our graduates who ventured into agriculture creating plenty direct and indirect jobs.”
Ease of doing business
The Minister revealed that the Executive Order on the ease of doing business has also created a good environment for investing and doing business in Nigeria.
“All these initiatives and many more are geared towards the human capital development of our people, in addition to making Nigeria more attractive, where all citizens can realise their dreams.”
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry represented by Mrs Ugochi Akudo said she was optimistic that Nigerians themselves would be socially mobilised as well as equipped to fight against the scourge of modern day slavery which appears in the form of forced prostitution, child labour, human trafficking, baby factory, forced, marriage, domestic servitude, debt bondage and body organ merchandizing.
Different speakers took time to give details of how the days of slavery have continued till the present day with the damaging effects in the society.
One of the speakers, Mr Chidi Donatus who represented the DG National Agency for the Prohibition in Trafficking in Humans (NAPTIP) said human trafficking and illegal migration represent great global challenge, they are obstacle to development, to the rule of law and serious threat to human security as both crimes affect lives.