By Musa Adamu
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, is leading Nigerian delegation to Italy to discuss women empowerment and the fight against human trafficking.
According to a statement issued by Turaki Hassan, spokesperson to the Speaker, the visit is coming on the heels of the death of 26 Nigerian women in the Mediterranian sea who lost their lives while trying to cross to Europe.
It explained that the Italian government had extended invitation to the Speaker to attend an international conference on “Women empowerment and the fight against trafficking in persons: the Partnership between Nigeria and Italy,” which will take place in Rome.
The statement said: “This is sequel to the official visit of the President of Italian Chamber of Deputies, Ms. Laura Boldrini, to the Speaker in May 2017.”
The statement further explained that the Nigerian delegation was billed to attend the Conference on the invitation of the Italian Parliament, seeking partnership with Nigeria to stem human trafficking, especially the increasing number of Nigerian citizens that enter Italy every year.
Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, and Director General of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Ms Julie Okah-Donli, are among those in the delegation.
During her visit to Speaker Dogara in May, this year, the statement added, Laura Boldrini, had lamented that in 2016 alone, 37,000 Nigerians arrived in Italy through the Mediterranean sea.
It said the Conference would also seek ways of empowering Nigerian women to stop the illegal and dangerous migration of Nigerians to Europe.