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Inmates starving, emaciated due to low budget for correctional service: Senate

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The Senate has threatened to step down consideration on the 2024 budget of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) over insufficient information on inmates’ feeding.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior, Adams Oshiomole, said this at the 2024 budget defence of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Interior on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr Oshiomole said he was unhappy with the services being rendered to inmates by the NCoS.

“Your organisation has transformed from Nigeria Prison Service to Nigeria Correctional Service, but you have yet to change in your attitudes toward inmates.

“It’s not just your fault because the government appropriates little money for you; it is either you don’t feed the inmates, 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 price of food items in the market, so how can you look us eye to eye and tell us that you feed a man in Nigeria with N750 a day? How much is a bottle of water,” he said.

He said the committee would not be in haste to approve any budget for the service until it received satisfactory answers.

Mr Oshiomhole requested a breakdown of the number of inmates and security dogs at the correctional centres and how they were fed daily.

“I would like to see a breakdown of how you feed the 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 said.

Responding, the NCS comptroller general, Haliru Nababa, said the service had 81,358 inmates nationwide, adding that 53,362 were 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, we spend N800,” he said. 

(NAN)

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