The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has paid N163.4m as death benefits to the families of 188 operatives of the agency who died in active service since 2014.
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja while issuing cheques to 14 of the beneficiaries.
He said the various amounts would be credited into the account of the beneficiaries.
“We owe a big thank you to President Muhammadu Buhari for his magnanimity in providing us with a special intervention fund to discharge our duty, specifically to officers and men who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“Today’s (Wednesday’s) event is very significant to the NDLEA and the families of our officers and men. The prevailing solemnity cannot be helped, given that the proceedings relate principally to officers who have passed on. This presentation of burial expenses payments to their families and beneficiaries will understandably evoke painful memories and sober reflection for us all,” Marwa said.
He acknowledged that fighting illicit drug trafficking and abuse was tough not only in Nigeria but also globally.
He said, “The battle is twice as dangerous due to the obvious reason that the drug abuse prevalence in our country is three times that of the global average.
“This precarious matrix did not deter our personnel from performing their duty of safeguarding society from the scourge of illicit substances.
“Even though there had been demoralising circumstances and there are distressing conditions that could dampen their will and zeal, the officers and men of the NDLEA neither abandon their duty nor lose their sense of responsibility to society.
“The achievements recorded in the past seven months are a testament to the hard work and loyalty of the NDLEA workforce.”
Speaking on behalf of the other widows, Mrs Khaltume Hassan Amali expressed appreciation to President Buhari for coming to the aid of NDLEA to enable the agency to meet its obligations to the families of its deceased officers.
“We shall continue to pray to God to guide and protect you (Marwa), your officers and men as you strive to move the agency to greater heights. We are also grateful to you for ensuring that the widows and children of deceased officers do not suffer injustice,” she said.