By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council has approved N580.50 million for the purchase of four armoured buses for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, announced this to State House Correspondents shortly after the weekly Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister cited the recent feat by the agency when it busted a drug racket in Lagos state where they recovered N194 billion worth of cocain from an Ikorodu warehouse.
He said, “Today, a memo was presented by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, that is the Federal Ministry of Justice, which was relating to a parastatal under the supervision of the office of the Attorney General; the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
“The purpose of the memo was to seek approval of the council for the award of contract for the supply of four customised armoured security vehicles of 14 seater model for the NDLEA and the contract sum is N580,500,000 only inclusive of 7.5 per cent value added tax with a delivery period of 16 weeks,” Malami explained.
“It is common knowledge that recently, the NDLEA has been repositioned and arising from the support both in terms of our capacity building, hardware and associated things, they have been recording an extra-ordinary or unprecedented success. Recently they seized about 1.8 tons of cocaine having a market value of about N194 billion.
“So, with all these successes recorded it is only logical that the criminals and their syndicate are now devising means inclusive of attacks on NDLEA personnel and it is with that in mind that the memo was presented for the procurement of such vehicles for the NDLEA and the council approved.”
Malami expressed concern that the recent gains on the war on drugs would prompt reprisal attacks on NDLEA from drug barons, hence the need for the vehicles.
He also said the Federal Government “is very happy with the successes being recorded by the NDLEA whereby it arrested 18,940 suspects and secured 2,904 convictions between January and July 2022.”
The AGF described the development in better detail, Malami said the 14-seater vehicles contract would be delivered in 16 weeks, by January 2022.
According to him, the decision to procure the armoured vehicles was taken to safeguard the lives of the personnel.