The Bauchi State Government on Monday said it will conduct a headcount of commercial sex workers in the state with a view to having accurate data on them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Aminu Balarabe-Isah, Permanent Commissioner in charge of Hisbah and Sharia implementation, as making this known in Bauchi 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.
Mr 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 reunite them with their parents.
The commissioner expressed the 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, assured that they were willing to quit the trade if the government would empower them economically, describing their condition as pathetic.