The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has denied the viral reports that it requested to buy sniffer dogs in its 2023 budget proposal, The PUNCH reports.
The Chairman of the Agency, Buba Marwa, had while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Narcotics to defend the agency’s budget was quoted to have said NDLEA needed more sniffer dogs to tackle drug trafficking and the cartels responsible.
Marwa was said to have said a sniffer dog costs as much as $20,000.
This was, however, condemned by Nigerians who believed such amount was outrageous.
But in a statement on Saturday by the NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi said as insinuated in some reports Maruwa did not make such a request.
The statement partly read, “The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency did not request to buy sniffer dogs in its 2023 budget proposal.
“Its position on the cost of specialised dogs was in response to a question by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo, on the need for sniffer dogs at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), had on Thursday, November 3 while defending its 2023 budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs and Narcotics explained in response to Hon. Agbo’s comment that the total package of getting a specialised dog including its training costs an average of $15,000 – $20,000.
“These are dogs that can detect up to 70 different types of drugs and substances. This is indeed open-source information that can be verified online by anyone interested in knowing the facts about this kind of dogs.
“Indeed, the full package of some specialized dogs especially those used for special protection, detection, and law enforcement in other jurisdictions costs as much as $30,000; $50,000; $80,000, and more depending on the type of skills and duties such would be trained to perform.
“Harrison K-9, an Aiken, South Carolina, US-based company sells for as much as $230,000. This is because acquiring specialised dogs goes beyond the cost of purchase but a total package that includes both the training of the dogs and their handlers as in a team over a period of months.”
He added that Marwa stated in his response to Hon. Agbo’s comment that in addition to the fact that the Agency has and uses sniffer dogs provided by the German government, it had acquired new scanners for use at the nation’s airports.
“We remain grateful to the German government, which has not only provided the sniffer dogs currently being used by the Agency and has even added more this year but is also building a sniffer dog academy for the use of NDLEA and others in the sub-region.
“This is why the Agency has not and did not make any request for the specialized dogs in its current budget proposal before the National Assembly”, the statement added.