Rep Seeks Relocation of NDLEA Headquarters, Laments Poor Funding of the Anti-Drug Agency
LAGOS DECEMBER 6TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Chairman House of Representative Committee on Narcotic Drug and Financial Crimes, Rt. Honourable Eucharia Azodo has expressed displeasure over rising indebtedness to personnel allowances and poor funding of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The committee noted during an oversight visit to the Agency in Lagos that the situation has affected the smooth running of the Agency in meeting its local and international obligations in the fight against narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
The head of the delegation, Rt. Honourable Eucharia who was received by the Chairman/Chief Executive of the anti-drug Agency, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd.) stated that the “2016 budget implementation and performance report of the NDLEA has shown that the appropriation and funding of the Agency over the years have been a far cry from what is required to perform as effectively as possible and also to sustain its achievement”.
Dissatisfied with the paltry sum of ninety-one million, two hundred thousand naira (N91,200,000) capital appropriation for the purchase of vehicles in 2016, the committee promised to assist the Agency in the payment of outstanding financial debts in the 2017 budget.
It equally vowed to assist the Agency in moving its headquarters to Abuja. “We will not rest on our oars until the corporate headquarters is relocated from Lagos to Abuja. Measures are also being taken to increase the current monthly overhead cost, payment of special intervention fund to settle 2015 and 2016 outstanding indebtedness to personnel, purchase of operational and command vehicles among others.
The committee however appreciated the Agency’s modest achievement particularly in projecting the positive image of Nigeria internationally by facilitating improved treatment of our citizens who travel outside the country. It also commended the cordial working relationship with international collaborators leading to improved enforcement of drug laws. Some of the partners include, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), European Union (EU), United States, United Kingdom, Germany and others.
In his remarks, the NDLEA boss thanked the committee members for the visit and expressed optimism that the visit will enable the members to have a firsthand assessment of the working environment of the Agency. “This visit is good for the Agency as it will afford the committee to feel the pains of the Agency and ultimately assist in improving the funding of the Agency. We are making sacrifices daily but it is imperative that intervention funds are provided to offset the outstanding allowances of officers as well as to effectively step up the campaign against drug cartels” Abdallah stated.