…Says Agency Nabbed 3,108 suspects in 2 Months
…Agency Still Using Civil-War Rifles—Reps
By Tordue Salem, Abuja
The chairman, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Muhammad Abdallah on Monday, told the House of Representatives that his agency, seized 1,735.7kg of Indian hemp, other substances and also arrested over 3,108 of drug peddling suspects in the country.
Mr Abdullah, made the disclosure while presenting his 2021 budget proposal and details of 2020 budget performance before the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs and Narcotics.
Besides, the head of the House Committee, revealed that the agency was still utilizing arms used by the Nigerian Army during the 1967-70 civil war.
Abdullah said as, at September, NDLEA arrested 3,108 suspects and seized 1735.737 kilograms of Indian Hemp, Cocaine and other psychotropic substances.
According to him, the suspects arrested were; 2,737 males and 371 females adding that, 689 have been prosecuted.
He lamented that the agency also lost 67 staff in the line of duty within the same period.
He, however, lamented the poor funding of the agency, for its operations.
Abdallah informed the Committee that, even though the NDLEA has 49 formations, included no airports, seaports and borders in the country including the FCT, budgetary provisions were consistently too meagre to cater for the branches.
He explained that each state and the FCT commands, has a minimum of three Area Commands to ensure grassroots coverage and they all require necessary logistics to function.
“With the paltry Recurrent Overhead Cost allocation of about N393 million yearly and a monthly sum of about N32.7 million which is not regularly released fully, it is difficult to fund these formations adequately to enable them to function effectively.
” The amended 2020 Appropriation Act further reduced the monthly releases to N15 million per month, yet the agency maintains effective operations in all these commands including the National Headquarters,” he said.
The chairman of the committee, Rep. Francis Ottah Agbo (PDP-Benue) said the war against narcotic drug addiction and trafficking which is the main mandate of NDLEA, needs collective efforts to be executed successfully.
Though he empathized with the agency, he urged them to work with other sister agencies as well as international organisations to tackle drug trafficking.
“I know the NDLEA is underfunded, understaffed and ill-equipped. It is even more scandalous that you still use weapons used during the Nigeria Civil war for your operations,” he said.