The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has countered reports suggesting its chairman Buba Marwa requested to buy sniffer dogs in the agency’s 2023 budget proposal.
Marwa had told the House of Representatives Committee on Narcotics on Thursday that sniffer dogs, which are essential in fighting drug trafficking, cost as much as $20,000.
In a statement on Saturday by the NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi, the agency said that contrary to some reports Marwa did not make a request to buy sniffer dogs.
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.”
Babafemi added that Marwa stated in his response to 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.