NAPTIP’s DG describes sports offers as ‘traffickers traps’ for young people


Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, has stated that a lot of young Nigerians who migrate to European countries on juicy offers of sporting opportunities, end up as victims of Traffickers In Persons, (TIP).

She made this known during an inter-agency novelty football match at the Moshood Abiola National stadium, Abuja in commemoration of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, yesterday.

Waziri-Azi pointed out that there is a nexus between sports and trafficking in persons as seen in the current trends and ploys of the perpetrators of the crime who have caught to the fact that many young Nigerians are seeking for sporting opportunities outside the country, and are now using it as an avenue by which they are trafficked for illicit purposes

“There is a very strong nexus between sports and trafficking in persons and a lot of young people are involved in sports activities which was why we felt it was important for us to collaborate and partner and also to use this platform to further sensitize not only young people but to also sensitize parents to be able to recognize the red flags.”

“Young people are promised sporting opportunities in European countries because these traffickers know that young people are very open to any sports opportunities so they capitalize on it to deceive these people, tell them they can get a contract in other countries and take them to where they want to go.

She said a major point of note is that “when someone comes to you and tells you that they are sports agents and they have an opportunity you, they first question you should ask them is, ‘do you have a clearance certificate from NAPTIP?’

“This is because we currently have what we call the Trafficking in Persons Regulation 2019 which gives NAPTIP the powers to regulate Control and issue clearance certificate to hotel operators, travel agents and individuals who are looking to travel out for the purposes of educational excursion, sporting and cultural activities among others.

Speaking on the importance of giving Nigerians a reason to stay at home, Permanent Secretary, federal ministry of labor and productivity, Kachollom Daju, said Nigeria has set up a national steering committee to ensure that mechanisms are put in place for the implementation of the legal framework on labor and employment to provide succor to through employment opportunities and social security safety nets among others, to quell growing desire to migrate in search of greener pastures Nigerians will not feel the need to leave the comfort of their country to migrate.

She said “Nigeria has laws on migration including a tripartite agreement with the International Labor Organization, (ILO), and our social partners such as UNICEF and many others, to ensure that migration and trafficking is stopped in Nigeria which is being led by NAPTIP.

On the way forward in preventing the rush for migration among Nigerians, Daju said “the federal ministry of employment through its department of employment and wages as well as its skills acquisition centers actually has different kinds of skills for people to come and learn.”

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