The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a total sum of N1 billion for the purchase of lie detector scanner and night vision glasses for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made this known to journalists on Wednesday in Abuja after the weekly FEC meeting.
The minister who commended the activities of the NDLEA said the gesture was to curb drug pushing in Nigeria.
The NDLEA under its new leadership has succeeded in arresting and prosecuting a high number of drug barons in Nigeria.
Prominent amongst those arrested by the agency is the embattled deputy police commissioner, Abba Kyari, who was accused of aiding and abetting drug pushing and running his own drug cartel.
Other prominent suspect in the agency’s custody include a traditional ruler and a clergy man who was arrested at the airport.
Nigeria has in the past years become a haven for drug barons and drug abusers.
As at 2019, the 2018 National Drug Use Survey, revealed that 14.3 million Nigerians aged between 15 and 64 years engaged in drug use.
Of this figure, the survey added that about three million were drug dependent and suffering from substance-induced disorders.
According to Mr Malami, the devices would go a long way in aiding the agency in the work it is already doing of fight against drug abuse.
He said the approvals were given after the council approved two memos whose contracts were awarded to two tech companies.
“As you rightly know, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency is an agency of government, saddled with the responsibility of exterminating illicit drugs trafficking, sales and consumption. Arising from the fact that they have been doing wonderfully well, in terms of dealing with the scourge associated with drugs, the federal government has considered the possibility of making added provisions and employing and deploying technological equipment skills and competencies that will assist them in delivery.
“So, this morning, two memos were taken. One, it was a memo seeking the approval of the council for the award of contract for the supply of eye-scanning lie detector. Our technology has improved to the extent that we have in place technological equipment that have the capacity to detect whether you are indeed speaking the truth or indeed you are lying in the course of investigation.
“So, for the purpose of enhancing the capacity of the NDLEA in exterminating illicit drugs trafficking, sales and consumption, the federal government has considered the need and possibility of indeed providing this equipment to NDLEA.
“Eventually, on that account, the Federal Executive Council approved the award of contract for the supply of eye-scanning lie detector by the National Drugs Law Drugs Law Enforcement Agency in the sum of N498, 850,000 only, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a completion period of 90 days.
“The second memo is one in which the NDLEA through the Office of the Attorney General sought approval of the council with the award for the supply of digital night vision goggle to the NDLEA. This is equally additional technological device that is intended to support the night operations of NDLEA in view of its capacity to support visibility for the NDLEA.
“So the contract too was presented for consideration of the council and the council has graciously approved the award of the contract with the supply of digital night vision goggles by the council in the sum of N570,825,000 only, inclusive of 7.5% Value Added Tax with completion period of 12 weeks,” Mr Malami said.
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