….As Service spends N750 on inmates, N800 on dogs
Senate on Thursday frowned at claims by the Nigerian Correctional Services, NCoS that it uses N750 daily to feed inmates, and uses N800 for dogs
The Red Chamber also expressed disappointment at the NCoS over poor treatment of inmates in its facilities nationwide.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, who spoke during 2024 budget defence by the establishment’s management led by the Comptroller General, Haliru Nababa, wondered why inmates were being allegedly mistreated by the Service.
He said: “Your name has been changed from Prison to Correctional, but you are dehumanising (the inmates).
“It’s not just your fault, because the government appropriates little money for you but it is either that you don’t feed these prisoners or you feed them only once and even at that, very miserable food.
“This is why they have completely emaciated and some can never live a decent life again even when they did not commit an offence.
“You all know the prices of these food items in the market, so how can you look us eye to eye and tell us that you feed a man in Nigeria awaiting trial or even committed an offence with N750 a day, how much is a bottle of water.”
Disappointed by the Services’ report, he emphasised that the committee will not be in a hurry to “rubber stamp” or approve any budget until they receive satisfactory answers.
The former Edo State governor’s remarks were made at the 2024 budget hearing with the National Assembly joint committees on Interior.
Senator Oshiomhole requested for a breakdown on the number of inmates and security dogs they have at current and how they are fed on a daily basis.
“I would like to see a breakdown of how you feed these inmates. If you say you feed inmates three times a day with N250 each.
“How many dogs do you have and how much does it cost to feed them daily?,” he further queried.
Responding to these questions, the Comptroller General of the NCoS, Haliru Nababa, said, “We have 81,358 inmates of which 53,362 are awaiting trial.
“We feed each inmate with N750 daily and they are fed three times daily (N250 for each square meal).
“We have 900 security dogs and to feed a dog each day is N800 daily.”
Senator Ireti Kingibe (LP FCT), who seemed unsatisfied with this response questioned the welfare of the inmates saying, “how many doctors and veterinary doctors do you have taking care of these inmates and dogs.”
Prior to answering this query, Nababa and his team were seen chatting amongst themselves just before they answered this question, giving the impression that they were lacking the necessary information.
Minutes later, he responded saying, “We have 75 Medical doctors and consultants, six veterinary doctors who cover Lagos, Kaduna, Owerri and some of them cover more than one state and they move from place to place.
“The veterinary doctors have different nurses under them.”
He, however pleaded with the lawmakers seated to come to their aid as they have already requested an increase in the feeding amounts for the inmates.
“We wrote a letter to the President to review 3,000 per day for each inmate. We want this committee to assist us in putting in words for us,” the Comptroller-General stressed.
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