After a year and a half of the execution of the A-TIPSOM project, the first meeting of the steering committee was held on 29th January, 2020 to take stock of the achievements and establish the planning of the next activities.
The meeting which took place at the headquarters of the Nigerian Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, in Abuja was attended by the focal points of the government partners of the project: National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Immigration Service of Nigeria (NIS), Police Force of Nigeria (NPF) and civil society represented by National Network of CSO Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL)
In addition to the Nigerian counterparts, the European Union delegation in Nigeria, the Spanish Embassy in Nigeria and the A-TIPSOM team from both the Madrid headquarters and the Abuja office were at the meeting.
Mr Rafael RIOS (FIIAPP), Team Leader of the project, highlighted the main achievements made during the first stage of the project as include: assignment of Operative Focal Persons from each of the National Partners, the adoption and signing of MoUs with all the four National Partners, the commencement and provision of technical assistance from the Spanish National Police and the Dutch Police, the drafting of the First ever Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to manage Irregular Migration as well as the elaboration of the Zero Draft National Policy for TIP, among others.
According to him and the Nigerian Partners, through the project, there has been an improved collaboration and coordination between the different Nigerian agencies involved in the fight against the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons; and the institutionalization of communication between government agencies and civil society organizations.
During the meeting, the annual plan was approved unanimously by those present, under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
In conclusion, the first meeting of the steering committee of the A-TIPSOM project, has not only reflected the commitment of the counterparts in the execution of future activities, but has also served to evaluate the good health of the project.
The Action Against trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria (A-TIPSOM) began in 2018, through an agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Government of Nigeria, with the objective to reduce the trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, at national, regional and international level, and between Nigeria and the European Union, with specific emphasis in women and children, working with main Nigerian agencies, such as NAPTIP, NIS, NPF and the representative of the civil society, NACTAL.