NDLEA says it did not request to buy sniffer dogs in its 2023 budget proposal as being insinuated in some reports.
Its spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi stated on Saturday in Abuja that NDLEA chairman, retired Gen. Buba Marwa only spoke about dogs while defending the agency’s 2023 budget proposal.
He added that Marwa spoke about dogs while responding to a question posed by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Hon. Francis Agbo at the budget defence.
He stated that the chairman only spoke about the prohibitive cost of specialised dogs.
He added that the question centered on the need for sniffer dogs at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Marwa defended NDLEA’s 2023 budget before the committee on Nov. 4
Babafemi explained that in response to Agbo’s question, Marwa noted that the total package of getting a specialised dog including its training, costs an average of 15,000 dollars to 20,000 dollars.
He quoted Marwa as telling the committee that the specialised dogs are able to detect up to 70 different types of drugs and substances.
Marwa said the cost could be verified openly online by anyone interested in knowing the facts about the dogs.
“Indeed, the full package of some specialised dogs, especially those used for special protection, detection and law enforcement in other jurisdictions cost between 30,000 dollars and 80,000 dollars.
“They could cost more, depending on the type of skills and duties in which they would be trained.
“In fact, Harrison K-9, an Aiken, South Carolina, U.S.-based company sells a dog for as much as 230,000 dollars.
“This is because acquiring specialised dogs goes beyond the cost of purchase.
“It is a total package that includes the training of the dogs and their handlers as a team over a period of months,’’ Marwa said at the budget defence.
He included in his response to the question that NDLEA has and uses sniffer dogs provided by the German government, adding that it already acquired new scanners for use at airports.
According to him, all of these have been largely responsible for the daily arrests and seizures made by officers and men of the NDLEA.
“We remain grateful to the German government, which has provided the sniffer dogs currently being used and has even added more this year.
“It is also building a sniffer dog academy for use by the NDLEA and others in the sub-region.
“This is why the agency has not and did not make any request for the specialised dogs in its current budget proposal before the National Assembly,’’ Marwa also said.