The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has rescued 100 children and apprehended 120 suspected traffickers within six months in Akwa Ibom.
Zonal Commander of NAPTIP in Uyo, Ubong Ekwere, disclosed this on Friday while giving an update on the activities of the command since he took charge six months ago.
He said the trend of human trafficking in the state had changed, warning parents and guardians to be more vigilant about the whereabouts of their children at any point in time.
“We have done remarkably well. I resumed duty on May 17 as the Uyo zonal commander and we have hit the ground running. From then up to this time, we have arrested 120 suspected human traffickers.
“Between then and now, 120 suspects have passed through our detention centre.
“The number of children rescued during this period of reporting is 100 and taken to our shelter. We have successfully reunited 88 of them with their families; only a few of them are still in our shelter now.
“There is a new trend of human trafficking now that is why I am calling on all stakeholders to join hands and collaborate with NAPTIP by supporting our operations because of this new trend of selling and buying of babies.
“If all hands are not on deck to fight this menace, children of this zone would all be sold out. The crime is very alarming and worrisome.
“The most sympathetic one was the one where two children from the same parent were stolen and sold to a woman at Itam in Itu Local Government Area. The first and second daughters of one parent were stolen.
“The woman in Itam took the children to Anambra and sold them out. The buyer in Anambra now sold them to someone in Lagos and Abuja. We have rescued the two children and reunited them with their parents,” Mr Ekwere said.
Mr Ekwere disclosed that during the period, the command charged 21 of the suspects to court, with some of the cases are still pending in courts.
He added that within the period, the command secured one conviction, stressing that the low number of convictions was due to Covid-19.
According to him, the federal government can not fight the menace of human trafficking without the collaboration of all stakeholders.
“We appeal to members of the public that this fight on human trafficking should not be left in the hands of NAPTIP and the federal government alone.
“The agency needs the support and cooperation of all stakeholders so that together we can fight this menace of human trafficking,” he said.
Mr Ekwere also appealed to the state government to include NAPTIP in the state security meeting to enhance information sharing, especially information concerning human trafficking in the state.
“NAPTIP as a paramilitary agency should be included in the state security council meeting.
“The state government can also help us in the area of logistics by providing the agency with operational vehicles to cover all the 31 local government areas effectively,” Mr Ekwere said.
He said that the agency would continue to sensitise people on the dangers associated with human trafficking, advising traffickers to desist from the act or face the full wrath of the law.
I can’t handle evil confronting Nigeria alone: Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari says the quantum of adversity his regime is confronting can only be surmounted with the assistance of all Nigerians.
Mr Buhari made this assertion while reacting to the gruesome attacks on innocent travellers in Sokoto State.
No fewer than 30 travellers were burnt inside a bus travelling through Sokoto by bandits after they were ambushed Tuesday night.
“I am very distressed at the manner of death visited on these hapless citizens who were undertaking a legitimate journey to another part of the country.
“It shows that the evil this administration is confronting is one that requires the support and involvement of all Nigerians,” Mr Buhari was quoted to have said by his media aide, Femi Adesina, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
The president extended deep condolences to the families of the victims, assuring that security agencies would continue to give their all to bring to an end the operations of the despicable people.
Price rally spurs growth at stock market
Sentiments remained positive in the domestic stock market on Wednesday with a growth of N217 billion arising from price rally recorded by MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN) and 19 other stocks.
Specifically, the market capitalisation inched higher by N217 billion or 0.99 per cent to close at N22.142 trillion from N21.925 trillion on Tuesday.
The All-Share Index rose by 417.14 points or 0.99 per cent to close at 42,435.16 against 42,018.02 recorded on Tuesday.
Consequently, the month-to-date loss moderated to 1.9 per cent, while the year-to-date gain increased by 5.4 per cent.
The market gain was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which are: Seplat Energy, MTN (Nigeria), Dangote Sugar Refinery, Lafarge Africa and United Bank for Africa (UBA).
Market breadth was positive with 20 stocks against 11 losers.
LivingTrust Mortgage Bank topped the gainers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.09 per cent to close at 96k per share.
Meyer followed with 7.69 per cent to close at 28k, while AXA Mansard Insurance went up by 7.25 per cent to close at N2.22 per share.
Dangote Sugar Refinery rose by 6.67 per cent to close at N16, while Honeywell Flour Mills appreciated by 6.51 per cent to close at N3.60 per share.
Conversely, Cutix led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.69 per cent to close at N2.61 per share.
Royal Exchange followed with 8.06 per cent loss to close at 57k, while Mutual Benefits Assurance declined by 7.69 per cent to close at 24k per share.
Sovereign Trust Insurance shed 4.17 per cent to close at 23k, while Nigerian Aviation Handling Company depreciated by 2.51 per cent to close at N3.50 per share.
Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings (FBNH) topped the activity chart with 441.93 million shares valued at N5.04 billion.
Sterling Bank followed with 64.43 million shares worth N95.94 million, while Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) traded 20.67 million shares valued at N501.36 million.
UBA sold 14.73 million shares valued at N115.95 million, while Access Bank transacted 12.30 million shares worth N110.59 million.
In all, the total volume of trades increased by 1.6 per cent to 649.77 million units valued at N7.20 billion exchanged in 3,757 deals.
This is against a turnover of 639.44 million shares worth N6.63 billion transacted in 4,564 deals on Tuesday.
FCT-IRS rakes in N118 billion, targets more in 2022: Official
The Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) said it remitted N118 billion into the federal government coffers as of November with a projection of N202 billion in 2022.
Acting Executive Chairman of the service, Haruna Abdullahi, told newsmen on Wednesday that the figure meant the organisation surpassed its target by 108 per cent.
“In spite of the challenges faced by the Service and FCT due to the impact of Covid-19, we were able to achieve and surpass our revenue target of N109 billion by 108 per cent as at the end of November 2021.
“With this, the Service has so far collected and remitted the sum of N118 billion,” Mr Abdullahi stated.
He also said that within the year under review, the Service engaged some consultants to conduct a six-year back duty tax audit of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), enterprises and corporate organisations in the FCT.
Mr Abdullahi said the engagement had started yielding fruits because liabilities have been established and demand notices have been issued in accordance with Section 54 PITA, CAP P8, LFN, 2004 (as amended).
“It is also important to let you know that we are currently meeting with about 250 MDAs for the review and reconciliation of IPPIS/Personal Income Tax/PAYE.
“This is to address issues of wrong remittance, non-remittance and under-remittance of employees of MDAs in the FCT.
“We are carrying out this exercise in collaboration with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and Joint Tax Board.
“Let me use this medium to invite all the MDAs that are yet to come for the exercise to please turn up before the deadline of December 10, 2021,” he said.
The acting chairman said the Service would not rest on its oars until it becomes the highest sub-national revenue-generating agency in the country.
He, therefore, solicited the support of all major stakeholders, including the media, in order to achieve the target.
“Though it is a huge task but with determination and commitment of board members, management, staff and stakeholders like you, we shall achieve the 2022 target,” he said.
He said the Service planned to embark on an aggressive public enlightenment campaign to educate and mobilise prospective taxpayers with a view to boosting the revenue base of the FCT.
The acting chairman explained that since the inception of the service, it had been educating and sensitising the residents and taxpayers to their civic responsibilities.
Mr Abdullahi said that in collaboration with the relevant law enforcement agencies the service would also embark on enforcement of its mandates in 2022.
“This is in accordance with section eight and Part V of the FCT-IRS Act 2015. This resolve has become necessary to address defaulters who insist on shortchanging the FCT Administration,” he said.
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