The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, has commended the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, for his administration’s commitment to halt human trafficking in the state.
He gave the commendation at the Gala Night organised as part of the 2019 Comptroller General Conference, in Benin City.
Babandede, who expressed appreciation to the Edo State Government and Edo people for their hospitality, said the conference held in the state is the best edition held so far.
“We have enjoyed ourselves best in Edo State. The Comptroller General Conference 2019 is the best ever held. Edo is doing well in terms of tackling human trafficking,” he said.
He urged other Federal Government agencies working to curb the incidence of human trafficking to collaborate and work with the Obaseki-led administration because the government is willing, able and capable in fighting the scourge head-on.
Babandede said he would work as an ambassador of the state to support the commitment of the state in combating human trafficking and crimes, stressing that Edo State plays a critical role in Nigeria, especially as it leads the fight against human trafficking.
“In each case of human trafficking, there is always a weak link from immigration service but as we close the conference, we all have made commitment to close the border against human trafficking. We are ready as law enforcement officers to protect our borders,” Babandede pledged.
Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki thanked the Nigeria Immigration Service for choosing Edo for the Comptroller General Conference 2019.
He commended the service for cooperating and collaborating with the state in tackling the human trafficking scourge, adding that Edo people are enterprising and aspirational, who have dominated their environment for 600 years as no Edo man has ever been sold into slavery.
The governor noted, “While campaigning, I discovered that human trafficking is one subject that no one wants to discuss because it has become a business that sustain many families.
“I knew it was not right and decided to speak up, never denying its existence but to fight the scourge head-on.
“I made a commitment that by the end of my first tenure in office, I would have reduced trafficking by 50 per cent and by the time I leave office, trafficking would have been totally eradicated.”
“You are one agency that has caught up with the trend and have used technology to control our borders. You have done well and I promise to continually collaborate with you and ensure trafficking is completely eradicated in Edo State,” the governor added.
Obaseki said the choice of Edo State for the conference is apt as it is hosting National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST), which avails NIS men the opportunity to see Nigeria’s unity in diversity.
“Edo is all about culture, hospitality, and tourism, we will continue to promote Edo culture all around the world. I commend the organisers of the conference, from NIS and Edo State Government for putting up a good show,” he added.