Following heightened attacks on personnel of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) who have recently been bursting illegal drug lords and cartels, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N580.5billion for the agency to purchase four armoured personnel vehicles.
Beyond the approval, the FEC at its meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, in Abuja, also reviewed the successes recorded by the NDLEA.
It was briefed that between January and July 2022, the NDLEA, chaired by retired Brigadier General Buba Marwa, arrested over 18,940 suspects and secured 2,904 convictions from the court, a development that has led to unprecedented reprisal attacks on its personnel.
The agency was in the news recently, when it seized from a private warehouse in Lagos cocaine with an estimated market value of about $278 million (N194bn).
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, under whose Ministry the NDLEA falls, briefed State House Correspondents shortly after the meeting, saying that “the award of contract for the supply of four customized armored security vehicles or 14-seater model vehicle for the NDLEA is in favour of Devcom Integrity Services Limited and the contract sum is N580,500,000 only, inclusive of the 7.5% Value Added Tax.
“It has a delivery period of 16 weeks. It is common knowledge to all that in recent times the NDLEA has been repositioned and arising from the support in terms of capacity building hardware and associated things, they have recorded an extraordinary unprecedented success.
“Of recent and still in our memory is a seizure of cocaine having a market value of about $278 million, which translates to about N194 billion naira and in terms of volume is about 1.8 tonnes. So with all these successes recorded, it is only logical that the criminals and criminal syndicate are now devising means, inclusive of attacks on the personnel of the NDLEA.
“So, it is with that in mind that a memo was presented to FEC seeking approval of the Council for the procurement of armored vehicles for the agency.
“The memo was taken and at the end of the day, it was approved, contract for the procurement of 14-seater armoured personnel vehicles which was approved.
“Between January and July 2022 it has succeeded in arresting over 18,940 suspects. They have equally secured 2,904 convictions within the period, which has led in effect to the unprecedented reprisal attacks on officers.
“So, with the progress being recorded, it becomes necessary that the agency be supported with armored vehicles and Council has considered and indeed approved accordingly.”