Sex workers in Nigeria have long called for decriminalisation of prostitution and in 2011, government officials issued a formal response that would set the process in motion.

The then Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu made proposals for legalisation of prostitution, but was soon pressured to retract his comments.

Six years on, the succeeding government is addressing the decriminalisation question once again, as it looks to sex workers to help implement its latest HIV prevention programme, which has been marred by slow progress.

Representing the House Committee on HIV/AIDS, David Ombugadu requested proposals from the Nigerian Sex Workers Association to the National Assembly with scope of legalising prostitution in Nigeria.

The move came months after activist Amaka Enemo put forward a salient call for decriminalising sex work, highlighting its importance in the fight against HIV.

The legal framework for prostitution in Nigeria mirrors that of Britain, where sex work is neither legal or illegal but soliciting, brothel keeping and coercion are criminal offences.

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