The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has condemned the high cases of sexual exploitation especially of minors and abuse of female migrants around the border communities of Akwa Ibom State.
The state Immigrations Comptroller, Francisca Dakat who made the condemnation on Thursday during a sensitisation workshop for officers and men of the command said she has mandated the Operatives to arrest any minor predisposing herself or anyone looking for minors at the borders for sexual exploitations.
She lamented that such menace is predominant in Akwa Ibom due to the presence of many borders as escape routes and commended the organizers of the event for the choice of the state for the training.
Dakat said, “For those of you that live in the borders you know what happens there, the indigenes will come and report that the Cameroonians and the Ghanaians come in and take away their daughters and come back and pick others.
“An officer told me that most times they will drive those girls hanging around the borders away and they(girls) will feel that they were interfering in their business. I told them(officers) to do their work, arrest such persons and those looking for those minors for sexual exploitation.”
Speaking on the seminar which she said was organized by the Service in partnership with the International Center for Migration Policy Development,” Dakat said the workshop was to create awareness and equip officers and men of the mainstreaming project on Modernising the Nigeria Immigration Service (MoNIS) which according to her is aimed at making deliberate policy to integrate the interest of men and women into all stages of planning, implementation and evaluation.
She added that the gender mainstreaming project would ensure gender equality and equity in the workplace, equal opportunities for male and female personnel, gender inclusivity in recruitment, deployment and training.
She commended the Acting Comptroller General of the Immigration Service, Ag. CGIS Caroline Adepoju and the implementing partner, International Centre for Migration Policy and Development (ICMPD) for extending the sensitisation workshop to the command.
Earlier in her welcome address, Deputy Comptroller Immigration, Adekemi Ojo, NIS – ICMPD, Focal Person, said gender mainstreaming was an essential aspect of development that recognizes the different needs of men and women in society.
Ojo said the project would involve ensuring that issues related to gender are integrated into all policies, programmes and activities to ensure men and women have equal access to resources and opportunities.
She reminded participants that the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse are serious issues that affect both men and women, boys and girls and are prevalent all over the world.
She said the sensitisation workshop was aimed at addressing these issues and striving towards reducing the ills or completely eradicating them where possible.
The resource person, Dr Eddy Akpomera speaking on the topic: “imperativeness of Gender mainstreaming and key pointers in NIS Gender policy” said gender mainstreaming is all about equity and fairness saying there must be fairness before equality could be attained.