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The Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday, approved N580.50m for the purchase of four armoured vehicles for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed this to State House correspondents shortly after the weekly Council meeting chaired by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
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 the NDLEA from drug barons, hence the need for the vehicles.
He also said the Federal Government is “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 better detail, Malami said the 14-seater vehicles will take 16 weeks to deliver.
“Today, 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,” Malami explained.
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.