THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it did not put in, in its 2023 budget proposal, any request to buy sniffer dogs, as has been allegeded in some media reports.
The agency said that its position on the cost of specialized dogs was in response to a question by the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Francis Ottah Agbo, on the need for sniffer dogs at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The anti-narcotics agency made the denial in a statement its Director Of Media, Femi Babafemi, issued on Saturday.
According to the NDLEA, its chairman/chief executive officer, Mohamed Buba Marwa, had on Thursday, November 3, while defending its 2023 budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, explained in response to Agbo’s comment that the total package of getting a specialized dog, including its training, costs an average of $15,000 to $20,000.
“These are dogs that are able to detect up to 70 different types of drugs and substances.
“This is, indeed, an open-source information that can be verified online by anyone interested in knowing the facts about this kind of dog,” he had said.
The NDLEA, in the statement, said the complete package of some specialized dogs, especially those used for special protection, detection and law enforcement in other jurisdictions, cost as much as $30,000, $50,000 and $80,000, and even more depending on the skills and duties such a dog would be trained to perform.
It added that Harrison K-9, an Aiken, South Carolina, United States-based company, sells such dogs for as much as $230,000 per one.
The statement read, “It is on record that Marwa, however, 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 has acquired new scanners for use at the nation’s airports.
“All of these have been largely responsible for the daily arrests and seizures made by officers and men of the Agency.
“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 the NDLEA and others in the sub-region.”
The NDLEA stressed it was putting the record straight on the dog issue with a view to contextualizing the statement credited to Marwa and clearing all insinuations on the possibility of such a request for sniffer dogs in its 2023 budget proposal.