*Agency requires restructuring, says Lawan
By Ignatius Okorocha
Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen. Muhammad Buba Marwa(rtd) has disclosed that staff of the agency are being owed over N4 billion by the federal government.
Making this disclosure at courtesy visit to the President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the NDLEA boss lamented that when he took over the administration of the Agency found it in comatose.
“When I took over as chairman of the Agency I found the Agency in comatose.
“The moral of the staff above all is the weakest that I have ever met in any paramilitary institution.Almost every staff of the Agency is owed. There is over N4billion owed just fir the staff and so moral is so low. There is stagnation, the promotions’ postings,” he noted.
Continuing he said,”The other aspect is the amount in the Agency that gives out to the state command is N50,000 when the staff of the Agency are given pittance there a temptation to compromise with the people they are suppose to be going after. That is why we always request for sufficiency.”
Marwa further explained that the purpose of his visit were two folds: “this an advocacy visit and secondly is a visit that calls for urgent intervention from Senate president.
“The nation is in a state of siege ranging from insurgency/banditry and kidnapping.
“When you talk of drug abuse you can for sure say that everybody in this room know somebody that gas affliction with drug abuse.
“The drug abuse scourge is one number one problem.It destroys our families and it is behind criminalities which everywhere now. What fuels it is drug abuse.
This criminality will not end until we face the noxious between it and drugs abuse.”
He also noted that the absence of Barracks is another inhibiting factor confronting the Agency.
“NDLEA is the only security Agency fight with barons and live among them in the same communities and no wonder they always come in the middle of the night and assassinate our staff. We need barracks and we need professional items for work.
“We need urgent intervention to support us. The agency is I dare need of funding and that completely not provided for to fight this war.
Secondly the provision in the budget for us to build a headquarters.”
Responding, President of the Senate ,Ahmad Lawan stressed the need to restructure NDLEA.
He said,:”This agency needs restructuring now that you have taken over, we should go the whole board to restructure the entire agency not piecemeal touches because we need to get it right.
“My personal opinion is that NDLEA should be in the league of EFCC, the ICPC and therefore the kind of support those agencies are receiving, you should receive something like that in addition to many other things that you should be supported with.
“I believe that we should go on advocacy to our schools, institutions and why not even include in our curricula the issue of drugs so that right from primary schools and probably at secondary school level our students should be able to understand the dangers of taking drugs.
“I believe this is one incentive to criminality. So it’s a huge responsibility placed on your shoulders but you are not going to work it alone. We are going to work along with you and want to urge you that you get along with other agencies of government like the immigration service, Customs, Airport authority, DSS.
“And the decay that you may have found is probably because the agency has not been able to have a better structure that will enable it fight drug trafficking and even addiction of the 21st century. Most people today are sophisticated. This law was signed in 1989 and is therefore due for amendment.
“We are going to give a very expeditious consideration to this amendment bill. This should be one of our priorities. This is a dire situation that requires an immediate attention of the national assembly and we will treat it as such.
“If we can pass it before we go on our second break in July that will be fantastic.”