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Makinde to set up anti-graft agency, promises autonomy for LGs

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Induction and Service Orientation for members-elect of the Oyo State House of Assembly. Photo/Twitter/seyiamakinde

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has said that his administration will soon establish an anti-corruption agency in the state.

Makinde, who stated this at the weekend while speaking at a two-day induction programme for members-elect of the Ninth Oyo State House of Assembly, also disclosed the readiness of his administration to partner and work harmoniously with the Assembly to curb corrupt practices in the state.

He stated that the government would soon send its first Executive bill to the House to seek establishment of Oyo State Anti-Corruption Agency to ensure check and balance.

The governor said that when the agency is established, it would be empowered to beam its searchlight on any individual or body in the state.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that he would readily waive his immunity to appear before the agency if he is found not to be above board.

Makinde stated that the decision to proscribe the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) a few days after taking office was borne out of the resolve to ensure that the state is not held to ransom by a few individuals.

The governor also promised to work with the state Assembly to guarantee financial autonomy to local councils, while also promising to work with all political parties operating in the state.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the weekend said that Oyo State had overtaken Edo State in human trafficking.

Assistant Comptroller, Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the NIS, Foluso Akintola, who stated this at a book reading written by Chairman, Editorial Board of Thisday newspaper, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, entitled: “From Frying Pan to Fire” held at the Booksellers Limited, Ibadan, lamented that Nigeria was the only country that served as source, transit and destination for trafficking.

Akintola, who said 464 victims were rescued in the state between January 2016 and May 2019, noted that the social vice is becoming rampant in Oyo State because there was no attention on human trafficking in the state unlike Edo State where government and traditional rulers were paying attention to the menace.

“The Immigration in Oyo State has rescued several children of ages between six and 10 years. These are gross minors while many minors of less than 18 years old have equally been rescued in lbadan and its environs.

“These are mostly used as house-helps, shop attendants and vendors/hawkers,” he said.

“In 2016, we rescued 134 victims and arrested 38 traffickers, 107 end-users with 11 victims, four traffickers processed to NAPTIP.

“In 2017, 139 victims were rescued, one trafficker and one end-user were arrested and processed to NAPTIP.

“In 2018, 163 victims, 27 traffickers arrested while one victim and one trafficker were processed to NAPTIP.

“In the first quarter of this year 2019 between January and May, 28 victims have been rescued, eight traffickers with 12 end-users arrested.

“Occurrences of these businesses are more prominent in Oyo, Edo and Delta states of Nigeria.

“They are now a major national problem for Nigeria. The fear in Nigeria of sudden disappearance of children and adults to migration and human trafficking is real and palpable.

“The problems posed by these issues have far-reaching effects on Nigerian’s image to the outside world. Recent media reports tend to portray Nigeria as a major hub for illicit movement of persons.

“Italy used to be the destination of most trafficked victims from Nigeria but with high mortality rate on the desert and the Mediterranean Sea in Lampadusa, the traffickers tend to have changed destination to the Arab world,” he said.


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