A report by Leadership newspaper indicates that the federal government spends N17 billion annually on feeding of convicts and awaiting trial inmates in 244 prisons nationwide.
The controller general, Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS), Ahmed Ja’afaru had while defending the 2018 budget, before members of the Senate committee on interior, stated that N17 billion was allocated for feeding of inmates.
Similarly, the public relations officer of the Abia state command of the NPS, Ikpe Linus, submitted that with the country’s estimated prison population of above 72,000, the federal government is roughly spending N33,878,700 daily to feed prisoners thrice daily at N450.
Though Linus put the number of prisoners nationwide at 73,786, comprising 72,286 males and 1,500 females report has it that about 61 per cent constitutes awaiting trial.
With N450 feeding rate per inmate daily, the N17 billion annual cost of feeding 73,786 inmates, mostly awaiting trial inmates constitutes just a fraction of other costs incurred by the federal government in keeping ATPs.
Also, with just a little above 9000 convicts, the nation’s prison infrastructure, despite being largely archaic, would have been able to cope with the prevailing number of convicts if the service was well funded.
Meanwhile, a house of Representatives member representing Gumel, Gagarawa, Maigateri and Sule Tankarkar federal constituency of Jigawa state, Sani Zoro, has raised the alarm of incessant importation of Chinese prisoners to work in foreign companies in Nigeria.
The lawmaker, who alleged that the Chinese prisoners were often conveyed into the country as expatriates, blamed Nigeria Immigration Service of complexity in the matter.
Zoro who is the chairman, House committee on Internally-Displaced Persons, made the allegations on Sunday, April 21 during a press briefing at his Bompai residence in Kano.
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