By Uche Amunike
The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for providing funds to cover payment expenses made for the burial of their members numbering 188, who died in active service.
The Chairman of the agency, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa expressed his gratitude on behalf of the agency during the presentation of the cheques to the beneficiaries, Wednesday in Abuja.
He explained that the last time personnel received payments was in 2014, but that the agency is presently perfecting a system that will enable them receive their emoluments and allowances when the need arose.
He went on to say that the agency was consoled by the fact that they have been able to pay their employees who died in active service.
He noted that the act of giving out cheques covering the burial expenses to the affected families would naturally bring back memories and sobriety.
He further stated that the occasion symbolized the affirmation that the leadership of the NDLEA took to heart, the welfare of their personnel and were resolute in making it top priority.
He stressed the need to lay emphasis on the fact that fighting drug abuse and illicit trafficking of drugs was not an easy job, not just in Nigeria, but all over the world, explaining that it was actually twice as dangerous in Nigeria because of the fact that the rate of drug abuse in the country is triple that of other countries.
Even at that, he continued, the personnel is not scared about carrying out their duties of making the society safe from the menace of illicit substances.
He maintained that even though the conditions under which they work is distressing and demoralizing most times, the NDLEA personnel have refused to retrogress in their line of duty.
They still try their best to perform tasks expected of them without losing their sense of respectability and responsibility in society.
He proudly mentioned that in the past 7 months, the agency’s workforce has achieved a lot, owing to their hard work and loyalty.
He spoke of the manner in which the agency has been redundant for years, saying that their leadership has worked strategically to assess confusing state of affairs that has kept them at a standstill for many years.
He also spoke of the plans of the NDLEA leadership to enshrine a doable workplace condition ecosystem that will offer the NDLEA staff a welfare package that will be at par with that of other national security agencies in the country.
He thanked the president for his kindness in offering the agency the funds to compensate their officers who died in active service.
He also mentioned the difficulties they faced in processing Life Insurance claims and benefits from the Pension Fund Administrators, but admitted that they have received 30 discharge vouchers for 2017 deaths and 10 discharge vouchers for 2020 deaths from brokers and underwriters, adding that death, medical expenses, temporary and permanent disabilities will soon be revived by the internal group personnel accident insurance scheme.
On behalf of the beneficiary, Mrs Khaltume Amali thanked President Buhari for making Marwa the NDLEA chairman, saying that his competence has made the agency grow in leaps and bounds.