Following the recent reports from media accusing National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, the agency has denied being responsible for the recent denial of Spanish visa to the National Under -17 Basketball Team.
Instead, the agency said the issuance of visa and denial of same to the NBBF contingent was entirely the responsibility of the Spanish Embassy, stressing that as an agency, it has no hand in the matter of issuing travelling documents.
The Acting Director –General, Alhaji Abdulrazak Dangiri, who explained this yesterday in reaction to media reports that NAPTIP may have been responsible for the denial, adding that the agency was neither contacted nor involved in the exercise.
He acknowledged media reports on purported allegation from the Spanish Embassy indicating that it denied travel Visas to Nigerian National U-17 basketball women team billed to participate in a FIBA Under- 17 World Championship in Zaragoza, Spain, based on reliable information of serious suspicion of human trafficking conveyed to it from the agency.
However, he said NAPTIP did not receive any letter from the Spanish Embassy seeking clearance for the players and officials and therefore, never wrote the embassy on the matter.
“It is true that the Nigerian Basketball Federation, NBBF, through a letter signed by its Secretary- General, Okeke Patrick, wrote a letter to the Agency seeking assistance for the team.
“Calls were made to the Secretary -General to visit the Agency to clarify the type of assistance needed. He said he will not be able to come but that he will send his deputy. Till today, nobody came from NBBF on the matter and there was no basis to write to anybody or embassy on it,” he said.
Further, he said the reasons for which the visa application was denied according to report were based on three issues which include: “The application was full of irregularities, the application came late and the person who signed the application was late and could not have signed such an application.”
He stated that the agency does not issue travel visas to intending travellers, and only gives clearance based on specific requests from relevant bodies.
“NAPTIP was not privy to the documents submitted to the embassy and could not have been part of the Visa procurement process in this instance,” he said.
The NAPTIP boss restated that the agency’s mandate is to fight against human trafficking and will never dabble into activities that are outside the mandate.


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