The NDLEA budget estimate includes a Recurrent Personnel Cost of N10,499, 961,097 and a Recurrent Overhead of N998,973, 302, while the capital expenditure is pegged at N26,662,354,452.
The Chief Executive, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig-General Mohammed Buba Marwa who presented the budget to the House of Representatives Committee on Narcotic Drugs, expressed gratitude to the House for their support.
Marwa said the Committee’s effort to amend the Police Trust Fund Act and the bill on compulsory routine drug tests sponsored by Lawmaker, Francis Ottah Agbo are extremely beneficial to the agency.
The NDLEA boss also called attention to the need for more funding, for the agency saying it was at the risk of personnel being tempted to corruption if the anti-narcotics body remains underfunded.
He said the agency gets only about N33 million monthly for its operation despite having over 10,000 personnel and 173 formations including 111 area commands.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Narcotic Drugs, Dr. Ottah Agbo while commending Marwa’s efforts at the NDLEA said the Federal Government can leverage the success story of the agency to redeem the battered image of Nigeria.
Warning that the drug scourge could destroy Nigeria if not urgently tackled, Agbo said the 9th National Assembly was committed to partnering with NDLEA to wage war against drug lords.
The lawmaker said that his committee had sponsored critical bills aimed at making the agency bark and also bite, including a bill for the amendment of the NDLEA Act to wipe out the option of fine usually granted drug offenders, as well as forfeiture of all their assets upon conviction and another bill to make routine drug tests compulsory for politicians, students, pilots, security personnel among others.
The Committee Chairman also revealed that his team is proposing a bill to seek the agency’s funding directly from the presidency warning that the House Committee on Narcotic Drugs is not in support of the legalisation of cannabis use in Nigeria.
The Chairman said the committee will not support the bill as Nigeria already has many cases of drug-related crimes, noting that any attempt to legalize Cannabis use will further escalate crimes and criminalities in Nigeria.
“Let it be known that the joint committee of the National Assembly is not in support of the bill targeted at legalizing Cannabis,” he said.