The Federal Executive Council has approved the purchase of four armoured vehicles at the cost of N580.5 million for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who disclosed this to State House Correspondents after the week’s FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, also explained that the approval became important, considering NDLEA’s recent success stories and the possibility of targeted attacks on its personnel.
It would be recalled that the agency was in the news recently when it seized cocaine with an estimated market value of about $278 million, which in Naira value translates to about N194billion naira.
Council also reviewed the successes recorded by the agency between January and July 2022, under the leadership of its current Chairman, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (Rtd), during which period it had arrested over 18,940 suspects, including securing 2,904 convictions from the courts, a development that has built up the risk of its personnel being targets of reprisal attacks by affected criminal rings.
Speaking to correspondents after the meeting, Malami said: “Today, a memo was presented by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation. Specifically, the Federal Ministry of Justice. The memo is related to a parastatal under the supervision of the Office of the Attorney General, which is the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
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“The purpose of the memo was to seek the approval of Council for the award of contract for the supply of 4 customized armored security vehicles or 14 seater model vehicle for the NDLEA in favour of Devcom Integrity Services Limited and the contract sum of 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 extra ordinary unprecedented success.
“Of recent and still in our memory is a seizure of cocaine having a market value of about $278 million, which in Nigeria Naira 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. The delivery period for the vehicles to the NDLEA is 16 weeks from today. And the company that has been granted the contract is Devcom Integrated Services Limited.
“We are happy with the successes being recorded by NDLEA for the purpose of further information. I think it is relevant to state that NDLEA has succeeded in many ways.”