The Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd), has lamented the poor funding of the agency, saying he had to bring his personal television to the office to use when he assumed duty as head of the agency.
Marwa stated this on Wednesday when he appeared before the House Committee on Narcotics Drugs to defend the N38 billion 2022 budget proposal of his agency.
The NDLEA boss said poor funding had been the major drawbacks for the effective operations of the 32-year-old agency.
Marwa told the committee that the agency which has 10,000 staff strength with 173 formations across the country in addition to the headquarters, get paltry N33 million monthly as overhead to run all the commands’ operations.
The NDLEA boss, who made a comparative analysis of overheads of organisations, said agencies such as the EFCC with 2,800 staff strength gets over 300 million monthly as overhead; ICPC with 800 staff strength gets N151 million monthly; NFIU with 500 staff gets N75 million monthly while NDLEA with 10,000 staff strength gets N33 million monthly as overhead.
He said poor funding of the NDLEA would affect the agency’s efforts in dealing effectively drugs war and its attendant effects on national security.
Marwa urged the House Committee to support the agency in pushing for an improvement in funding to address critical areas of needs of the agency for better performance.
Chairman, House Committee on Narcotics Drugs, Dr Francis Ottah Agbo, while commending Marwa for his efforts in the fight against drugs in the country, assured that the committee will interface with the chairman of the Appropriation Committee to ensure an improved funding for the agency to enhance its operations.
The committee summoned the contractor handling the NDLEA’s transit house along the Airport Road Abuja to appear before it to explain the rationale for the delay in completing the project.