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1.1      Background of the study

Prior to the abolition of slave trade and slavery in the early 19th century, human beings were sold as commodities to merchants by kings and warriors in exchange for goods. These merchants provided weapons and fueled crises between communities to increase the supply of slaves. The inhumane treatment meted out to these individuals gave rise to the abolition of slave trade and slavery. Unfortunately, in the past two or more decades this obnoxious trade and dehumanizing trade has resurfaced in a more dangerous and horrific manner vis a viz human trafficking otherwise known as modern day slavery. Unlike the trans-Atlantic slave trade where the European merchant come to Africa to take away the slaves, the new form of slavery involves traffickers taking away the victims not for the benefit of the receivers or the victims per say but for the benefit of the perpetrators. Trafficking in Persons is therefore, a global and serious security threat to all the countries of the world. The UN Trust Fund for Human Security to buttress the issue states that Trafficking in Persons separates families, erodes social bonds, and undermines the political, social, economic and cultural prospects of communities. By creating an environment of violence, crime and fear, criminal networks undermine the rule of law, weaken public safety and threaten the overall safety and development of a community. Human trafficking is a human right violation and every year; thousands of men, women and children are trafficked by those known to them and in their own communities too. The suppression of trans-Atlantic slave trade in what later became Nigeria began with the British military expedition on Lagos territory and the subsequent declaration of the area British Crown colony in 1861. However, it was not until 1874 that the first Ordinance was enacted prohibiting slave dealing and internal traffic in slaves within the Crown colony of Lagos (Lugard, 1919). On August 31, 1916 the British colonial administration prohibited slavery in Southern Provinces by the enactment of a decree to that effect. By this decree “every slave in the Southern Provinces was liberated”. It followed that “no court, British or Native, may in any way whatever recognize the status of slavery in the Southern Provinces of Nigeria” (Lugard, 1919). The British colonial administration’s anti-slavery laws marked the end of slavery as a social institution in Nigeria. They also ushered in a modern era of revolutionary ideas of liberty, freedom and equality among Nigerian people under the British colonial state. By 1960, when Nigeria secured her independence from Britain, slavery as a social institution or socio-cultural practice had virtually ceased to exist. Indeed, it became illegal and vexatious even to raise the issue in reference to an individual or group. In 1980s, however, when Nigeria’s economy witnessed serious decline as a result of oil glut, the country began to experience mass poverty manifested by increasing unemployment, soaring prices of essential goods and low wages. Consequently, there was widespread misery and frustration among the populace especially the large number of unemployed youths who began to believe that their prospect of economic survival lay outside the shores of the country. This encouraged many youths to begin to emigrate from Nigeria in large number and, in most cases, to Europe, Asia and America. When Nigeria attained independence in 1960, there were very hopes of its potential for sustainable development perhaps the hopes were based on a robust, endowment of the nation, both in human and natural resources in the country. Unfortunately, contemporary evidence shows that these expectations have not materialized even after decades the nation independence one possible explanation is that the expectations become lost on alter of national economic difficulties and series of political failures due to bad governance being experienced at the different levels of government (Oromareghake and Akpotor, 2007:310). There seems to be agreement amongst both academic and practitioners’ administrators that at the center of all Nigeria’s problem is the problem of leadership (Bello-Imam and Robert, 1995:1-2). The problem of bad governance resulting from poor leadership in Nigeria comes to the force and it’s given credence by both historical and contemporaneous evidence. For instance, at independence in 1960 and shortly afterwards, and especially with the ascendancy of oil as the dominant source of state revenue, Nigeria was blessed with the requisite human and material resources to ensure its development. Unfortunately, the dynamic of the country’s history has imposed on it a succession of leaders who ruled in such a way that sharply contradicts “good governance” It is pertinent to know that, our past and present leaders failed the nation. Bad governance in Nigeria has resulted to a high of corruption, lack of transparency, lack of accountability, total disregards to laws of the land, lack of respect for human lives. The negatives trends have had and continue to have system-wide effects in Nigeria, which ported uncertainly in the provision of these basic needs to the citizenry. The citizens’ perception of their benefit in the social exchange between then and government begins to wane and turn negative. They begins to loose faith and confidence in a government that constitutionally promised the citizens “equality of right, obligations and opportunities before the law” and that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the government” without providing access able and affordable health care and food, education, roads, shelter, employment and poverty etc. In reaction to these inclement conditions the people felt maligned and marginalized with consequent effects of being unpatriotic to the country.


The mass exodus of youths from Nigeria and, indeed, other Sub-Saharan African and Asian countries to the economically advanced nations of Europe and America encouraged the emergence of syndicates who devised methods for enticing would-be trafficked persons. In the case of Nigeria specifically, the syndicates developed very strong and dependable network for effective organization, recruitment and movement of would-be trafficked persons from their local communities to North Africa across the perilous Sahara Desert. Most Nigerian victims of human trafficking pass through Niger, Mali, Tunisia, Morocco or Libya en route to Europe. It is in view of this trend that the researcher intends to investigate the impact of human trafficking in Nigerian state.


The main objective of the study is to ascertain the impact of human trafficking in Nigerian state, but for the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objective;

i)             To ascertain the impact of human trafficking on the image on Nigeria

ii)           To investigate the role of unemployment in promoting human trafficking

iii)          To investigate the relationship between poverty and human trafficking

iv)         To ascertain the effect of human trafficking on the economic growth of the state


For the successful completion of the study the researcher formulate the following hypotheses;

H0: human trafficking does not have any negative impact on the image of Nigeria in the committee of nation

H1: human trafficking does have a negative impact on the image of Nigeria in the committee of nation

H02: human trafficking does not have any effect on the economic growth of Nigeria

H2: human trafficking does have a significant effect on the economic growth of Nigeria


It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to NAPTIP (national agency for prohibition of traffic in person) as the study seeks to enumerate the dangers of human trafficking on the economic growth of Nigeria. The study will also be of great importance to the management of immigration study as the study seek to enumerate on the dangers of illegal movement of persons outside the shores of Nigeria. The study will also be of great importance to researchers who intend to embark on study in a similar topic as the study will serve as a reference point, finally the study will also be of great importance to student, lecturers, teachers and the general public as the findings will add to existing literature


The scope of this study covers impact of human trafficking in Nigerian state with emphasis on Edo state, but in the cause of the study, there were some factors which militated against the scope of the study;

a)     AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material      available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

b)     TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider         coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities        and examinations with the study.

c)     FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not     allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the        researcher has other academic bills to cover.





National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic In Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP)

Human trafficking

Human trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others

Slave trade

The slave trade refers to the transatlantic trading patterns which were established as early as the mid-17th century. Trading ships would set sail from Europe with a cargo of manufactured goods to the west coast of Africa.


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

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