The Senate Committee on Interior has made a move to increase the daily feeding cost of inmates in Nigerian Correctional facilities.
The issue was raised on Wednesday when the Comptroller General of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), Mr Haliru Nababa, appeared before the committee members to defend the 2022 budget of the Correctional Service.
According to the committee, there are 66,340 inmates in correctional centres across the country, out of which an alarming 47,559 of them are yet to be convicted and are awaiting trial.
The Committee members, therefore, expressed concern about the welfare of inmates specifically on their feeding.
“When you send a criminal to prison, the person becomes worse when the person is coming out, instead of becoming better, so I am thinking, Mr Chairman, this issue of feeding should be looked at properly,” a member of the committee, Senator Chukwuka Utazi said.
In response, the Comptroller General of NCS said that the current N450 feeding cost for each of the prisoners on daily basis has been increased to N750 as proposed in the 2022 budget estimates.
He said this development made most of the custodial centres to be congested and fall below the international standard of correctional services.
Not satisfied, the Committee Chairman, Senator Kashim Shettima, and members of the committee frowned at the N750 daily feeding cost.
Senator Utazi, therefore, made a move on behalf of the committee, saying N750 going by the value of Naira today and high costs of consumables, is inadequate.
“Mr Chairman, I will urge this committee to jerk up the proposed N750 feeding cost per day on each of the inmates at the custodian centres to at least N1,000.00 because no grown-up Nigeria today can survive with N750 per day as far as feeding is concerned,” he said.
Seconding the motion, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, said the N1,000 proposed should be the minimum and must be reflected in the final budget to be passed for the correctional service.
The committee also stressed the need for renovation of correctional centres across the country to reduce incessant cases of jailbreak.