Home NDLEA FG approves $1.4m for NDLEA firearms

FG approves $1.4m for NDLEA firearms

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Tuesday, approved $1.442 billion to procure arms, ammunition and equipment for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The new purchase is meant to boost the agency’s anti-narcotics operations nationwide, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), told journalists after the Council met at the State House, Abuja.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the 12th in President Bola Tinubu’s administration, the council considered three memoranda tendered on behalf of the 34-year-old agency.

According to Fagbemi, the Council also approved N1.9 billion for the purchase of 33 CNG-compliant vehicles and the sum of N985 million for the procurement of two full-body scanners for the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

These approvals were also in favour of the NDLEA to beef up its war on drugs at the two primary entry and exit points to the nation.

“We discussed some other items today, including three concerning the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). The first one is the procurement of 33 Mikano Maxus E60 motor vehicles to boost the operation of the NDLEA at N1.9 billion.

“You will agree with me that it is important that we support the activities of NDLEA, so the Council considered this and gave approval for the purchase of 33 Mikano vehicles, which are all CNG compliant.

“The second one is, again, purchase for the NDLEA; this time, it is for the procurement of arms, ammunition and antiriot equipment for counter-narcotics operations for the NDLEA. This is for the sum of $1.44 billion.

“The third in the series is the procurement of two units of full body scanners at Abuja and Lagos international airports to boost the operation of the NDLEA. This is at a cost of N985 million”, Fagbemi said.

Meanwhile, the Council approved a ban on the use of single-use plastics, also known as on-the-go plastics, in all federal government ministries, agencies and departments.

The Minister of State for Environment, Iziaq Salako, who briefed State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting, explained that the move aligns with the 2022 National Policy on Plastic Waste Management and demonstrates the government’s drive to address the threefold crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.

Salako argued that the ban would reduce plastic waste, which he described as a significant contributor to flooding, ocean pollution and diseases.

“This initiative demonstrates our commitment to addressing the triple threat of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution”, he explained, describing plastic pollution as “a major issue in our country”.

“The Federal Ministry of Environment proposed and the Federal Executive Council approved that a ban be placed on the use of on-the-go plastics, what we know as single-use plastics, in all ministries, agencies and departments of the federal governments. This is in line with the 2022 National Policy on Plastic Waste Management.

“We must say that the discussion in EXCO was very smooth because all members of EXCO, including Mr. President, were very enthusiastic about this ban. This ban is also in line with the commitment of Mr President to ensure that Nigeria plays its part in ensuring that the triple crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss is frontally addressed.

“As you know, plastic is one of the key challenges that we face when we go to our drains and when we talk about the issue of flooding, we find out that plastic waste is heavily incriminated. We also discovered that plastic pollution is a major issue in our oceans, affecting human health and our environment”, said Salako.

He added that although Tuesday’s announcement affected only Federal Government institutions, it was a precursor to a nationwide ban on single-use plastics by January 2025, as outlined in the National Policy on Plastic Waste Management.

“The ban is for Federal Government ministries, agencies and departments; it is not nationwide. However, this is, in a way, preparatory; if you look at the National Policy on Plastic Waste Management, which was adopted in 2022, it envisaged that by January 2025, some categories of plastics would be banned in Nigeria and most of them are single-use; plastic spools, straws, PET bottles, pure water sachets, and so on and so forth.

“So what the Federal Government is doing is preparing the minds of Nigerians and leading by example. When you see this thing being done in the federal ministries and agencies, it will convince you that it is possible. As a matter of fact, I can tell you that in the Federal Ministry of Environment, we started the ban in January 2024”, the minister said.

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