The Federal Executive Council, FEC, yesterday approved N580.50 million for the purchase of four armoured vehicles for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
Attorney-General of the Federation AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The AGF cited the recent feat by the agency when it busted a drug racket in Lagos, recovering N194bn worth of cocaine from an Ikorodu warehouse.
He noted that the recent gains on the war on drugs would prompt reprisal attacks on NDLEA from drug barons, hence the need for the vehicles.
He also said the federal government was “very happy” with the successes being recorded by the NDLEA whereby it arrested 18,940 suspects and secured 2,904 convictions between January and July 2022.
Describing the development in detail, Malami said the 14-seater vehicles would take 16 weeks to deliver in January 2023.
He said: “Today (yesterday), a memo was presented by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, that is the Federal Ministry of Justice, which was relating to a parastatal under the supervision of the office of the Attorney General; the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
“The purpose of the memo was to seek approval of the council for the award of contract for the supply of four customised armoured security vehicles of 14 seater model for the NDLEA and the contract sum is N580,500,000 only inclusive of 7.5 per cent value-added tax with a delivery period of 16 weeks.”
The Minister said the decision to procure the armoured vehicles was taken to safeguard the lives of NDLEA personnel.
“It is common knowledge that recently, the NDLEA has been repositioned and arising from the support both in terms of our capacity building, hardware and associated things, they have been recording an extra-ordinary or unprecedented success. Recently they seized about 1.8 tons of cocaine having a market value of about N194 billion.
“So, with all these successes recorded it is only logical that the criminals and their syndicate are now devising means inclusive of attacks on NDLEA personnel and it is with that in mind that the memo was presented for the procurement of such vehicles for the NDLEA and the council approved,” he added.