By Auwalu Birninkudu/Bauchi
Nigeria’s north western state of Bauchi said it will conduct a census of commercial sex workers, to be able to plan for them.
Malam Aminu Balarabe-Isah, Permanent Commissioner in charge of Hisbah and Sharia implementation, made this known in Bauchi on Monday.
He spoke during a sensitisation workshop organised for commercial sex workers.
He said the information generated from the exercise would help the commission in taking measures aimed at discouraging them from continuing with their “dangerous trade”.
Isah disclosed plans by the state government to organise empowerment programmes for them, as well as provide them with capital to start small scale businesses.
He explained that investigations conducted by his agency indicated that most of the sex workers took to prostitution as a result of illiteracy, poverty or maltreatment meted on them by their step-mothers.
He said that minor family squabbles also contributed to their decision to take to prostitution, assuring that government would make efforts to re-unite them with their parents.
The commissioner expressed readiness of the state government to organise mass marriages for those of them who were lucky to get serious suitors.
Hafsatu Azare, who spoke on behalf of the sex workers, gave an assurance that they were willing to quit the trade if government could empower them economically.
She described their condition as pathetic.