18th March, 2011
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has explained why it spends millions of naira to buy and groom sniffer dogs in South Africa, Europe and the United States, rather than groom Nigerian dogs, saying that dogs in the country are not intelligent enough to detect illicit drug.
During the official presentation yesterday in Lagos, South West Nigeria, of two air conditioned Toyota Hiace vehicles for NDLEA sniffer dogs by Mr. Walter Von Driesch, the German Consul-General in Lagos, an official of NDLEA who is trained to handle sniffer dogs, said that â€˜it is just natureâ€™ that Nigerian dogs are slow learners.
He said that it is very hard to groom Nigerian dogs and a trainer can spend an entire life trying to make them intelligent enough to detect drug, adding that this is not the case with American, European and South African dogs. â€œWe canâ€™t explain it. Itâ€™s just nature,â€ he said.
The two air conditioned vehicles for the dogs were purchased by BKA Germany, the German agency that fights illicit drug, at the cost of 50, 000 Euros.
Von Driesch disclosed during his address at the presentation attended by the NDLEA Chairman, Mr. Ahmadu Giade, that between 2 November 2009 and 19 January 2010, three NDLEA officers attended a sniffer dog handling and training course in Germany.
He added that after their training, four sniffer dogs purchased for between 15,000 and 17,000 Euros were donated to NDLEA.
In 2008, NDLEA purchased and groomed four sniffer dogs from South Africa at the cost of N2 million each.
â€œBKA Germany wishes to continue this cooperation with NDLEAâ€™s canine unit in the future and a second visit of the German dog trainers in Lagos for a refresher course already has been scheduled for May this year,â€ Von Driesch said.
Giade while accepting the vehicles and the four dogs donated by the German, said that drug trafficking can only be fought through global cooperation.
â€œWe would be doing great service to humanity if we join hands to counter the activities of the merchants of death,â€ Giade said, adding â€œthe capacity of our department to confront operational issues such as drug supply reduction through interdiction activities will be greatly enhanced if our partners come to our assistance in terms of equipment and capacity building.â€