Reps probe issuance of operational license to tour operators labour recruiters, exchange agencies, employment agencies
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The House of Representatives, on Thursday, unveiled plans to investigate the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment on the issuance of operational licenses to Tour Operators Labor Recruiters, Exchange Agencies, Employment agencies, with a view to end the myriad of scandals trailing their operations.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion on notice of urgent public importance sponsored by Ayokunle Isiaka, who solicited for the House intervention.
Some of the lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion, including Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu; Hon. Tajudeen Yusuf (PDP-Kogi), chairman, House Committee on Army, Hon Abdulrazak Namdas; Hon Jonathan Gaza, Hon Ifeanyi Momah, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu, Hon Shehu Kakale, who decried the deception of youths for purpose of exploit in a wide range of industries, including sex trade, baby factory, domestic work, mining, stone quarrying, manufacturing, and work in farms and plantations.
In his lead debate, Hon. Isiaka who expressed concern over the plight of unsuspecting Nigerians who out of the quest to secure employments fall victims in the hands of the fraudsters alleged that the syndicates promote the issue of modern slavery human trafficking domestic servitude and forced labour confronting Nigeria Citizens home and abroad with the aim of eliminating the scourge.
“The House notes the successful implant mechanisms, systems and vehicles of social development decadence and the root cause of the challenges facing the development of the integrated and coordinated plan in Nigeria.
“The House further notes the need to call for investigation on the dealings and activities of travel agencies, tour operators, labour recruiters, labour exchange agencies, sports and educational agencies, and other bodies involved in the movement of Citizens in and out of Nigeria as the first point of call to addressing the issue of modern slavery out of the country in particular reference to citizens migrating to the Middle East.
“The House is disturbed that, modern-day slavery and its related issues are commixed in a web of complexities and continues to thrive because of the growing lapses in our Institutions amongst others. To share key facts and figures from the International Labour Organisation ILO, there are an estimated 40.3 million people trapped in modern slavery around the world at every given time.
“Of this 40.3 million, 24.9 million people are estimated to be within situations of forced labour. Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited within the private sector. This includes fields such as domestic work, construction, and agriculture. 8 million of these 24.9 million are persons suffering forced sexual exploitation.
“Around 4 million of this 24.9 million are in situations of forced labour imposed by state authorities. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labour, 99 per cent of the victims are in the commercial sex industry, and 58 per cent in other sectors. Nigeria ranks top amongst nations with the sub-Sahara region with her citizens estimated to make up an estimated 25% of the victims trapped owing the issue before us.
“The House is concerned that Nigeria occupies a central position in West Africa as a country of origin, transit and destination for victims of human trafficking for labour exploitation and forced labour. Men, women and children from Nigeria are trafficked to Western Europe, the Middle East, and West and Central African countries under deception for purpose of exploit in a wide range of industries, including sex trade, baby factory, domestic work, mining, stone quarrying, manufacturing, and work in farms and plantations.
“The House is worried that these impunities have become headstrong and rock-solid because legislations are more off-shelf legislations than they are enforced. Any legislation that is not backed with the weight of enforcement is replete with Constant abuse by the perpetrators. In that vein, one can boldly say that Modern slavery perpetrators in Nigeria have been able to grow this insidious economic evil over the years, and continually find expression in perpetuating these evils because of the weak systems and unchecked institutions.
“The House is further worried about the unanswered questions of: How, when, who recruits and receives at the other end? Are part of the first steps to nipping these issues in the bud,” he noted.
To this end, the House mandated its joint Committees on Labour and Productivity, Human Rights (NAPTIP), Youth, and Diaspora to carry out an investigative hearing on the process of issuance of licenses to tour operators, labour recruiters, labour exchange/employment agencies N Just to share key facts and figures from the International Labour Organisation ILO, NON-Governmental Organizations (NGoS) in the country and report back to the House within 6 weeks.
In the bid to ensure adherence, the House mandated its Committee on Compliance to ensure strict adherence to the resolution.
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