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Senate seeks restructuring of NDLEA for effective service

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NDLEA PHOTO: Twitter

•’Agency owes workers N4b salary’
The Senate declared, yesterday, that Nigeria had become a notorious route for drug trafficking and related vices.

Therefore, it sought immediate restructuring of Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to successfully tackle drug trafficking and abuse in the country.

At a meeting between the Senate leadership and management of NDLEA in Abuja, it was pointed out that serious remedial measures, including legislative amendments and funding improvement have become imperative for the agency.

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Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said: “Nigeria, as a country, is, in one way or the other, a transit route through which drug peddlers transport their drugs like
cannabis, heroin and possibly even cocaine.

“Such activities have to stop, because they aid funding of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping. You wonder how the bandits get RPGs and the massive arms that they have. Definitely the RPGs are procured by drug barons, not the bandits themselves.

“To ensure that this transit role that Nigeria plays is addressed properly and urgently, we have to adopt a multi-sectoral approach.

“The Customs, Immigration, security agencies and, in fact, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria and our seaports all need to be involved.”

Lamenting the high drug addiction level in the country, the Senate leadership expressed worry that Nigeria is losing its youth to the menace.

“The terrorists, bandits and almost all the criminals have recourse to taking drugs to enhance their courage to carry out their illicit activities.

“We are going to give a very expeditious consideration to an amendment bill, this will be one of our priorities. If we can pass it before we go on summer break in July, that will be fantastic,” Lawan said.

Earlier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), listed some challenges faced by the agency and disclosed that it is owing, among others, over N4 billion as staff salaries.

Marwa, who said the NDLEA was in comatose when he took over management of the agency seven weeks ago, lamented lack of manpower training in the agency.

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