The House of Reps. Committee on Drugs/Narcotics said on Monday that it would speedily consider & approve the 2021 budget proposals of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency because of the critical functions of the agency.
Its Chairman, Rep. Francis Agbo gave the assurance while presiding over the budget defence session of the NDLEA at the National Assembly in Abuja. Agbo, who said the NDLEA had a lot on its hands, cited the case of the recent #EndSARS protests, which were hijacked by hoodlums. He noted that the violent behaviour of the hoodlums was proof of the serious effect of hard drugs on the country’s youth. Agbo said, “The manner in which hoodlums, who hijacked the legitimate #Endsars protests nationally, and wreaked havoc on federal infrastructure, shows they must be addicted to illicit drugs. It is unfortunate that at this critical period; the agency is still underfunded, understaffed and ill-equipped, which is not encouraging, considering the sophistication in the manner of operations of drug syndicates. “It is then only normal for those chasing the syndicates to be ahead in terms of all forms of logistics and resources.”
The NDLEA Chairman, Abdalla, in his presentation, recalled that in 2020, the agency became cash-strapped due to the Covid-19 pandemic
He said only 67% of capital releases were made to the agency in 2020.
He called for more funding in 2021, though the committee observed that the agency planned to spend 66% of the capital budget on a single project next year.