Following recent media reports that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, denied the National Under-17 Basketball Team of their Spanish visas, the agency said it has no hand in it, adding that the non-issuance of visas is entirely the responsibility of the Spanish Embassy.
Acting Director–General, NAPTIP, Alhaji Abdulrazak Dangiri, said this yesterday while briefing journalists in his office in Abuja.
Dangiri said their attention has been drawn to media reports that it denied travel visas to the Nigerian National U-17 basketball women team who were billed to participate in a FIBA Under-17 World Championship in Zaragoza, Spain, based on suspicion of human trafficking.
According to him, 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.
Dangiri, who hinted that the agency had no hand in the visa denial, revealed that there was information indicating that the visa application was denied based on three issues which include: irregularities; the application came late and the person who signed it was late.
He stated that the agency does not issue visas to intending travellers, but 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 its mandate.


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