3000 To 9000, Federal Government To Increase Prison Capacity

by Oluwamuyiwa Oyedele

The Federal Government of Nigeria recently have said it will speed action on the immediate completion of at least three out of the six 3,000-capacity mega correctional centers dispersed across the geopolitical zones as part of measures to decongest the country’s jails.

The project would increase the carrying capacity of Nigerian prisons by 9,000 spaces.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the interior minister, made this announcement on Monday in Abuja following an inspection tour of a facility in the Federal Capital Territory’s Karshi area.

The maximum inmate capacity for all of Nigeria’s national prisons is 57, 278.

However, as at the last count, there was a total population of 68,747 inmates, made up of 67,422 males and 1,325 females.

Speaking after the tour, Aregbesola said; “I am impressed with the pace of work and I have asked the contractors to continue working at full speed. The challenge we have is funding and I am going to meet with our dear president on this issue to see how we can get more funds to at least complete three of the six projects.

“By this, we hope to be able to complete this project in Karshi, the one in Kano, and the one in Bori, Rivers state.

“When we are able to do that, it will reduce the stress on our other facilities and also enhance the administration of justice”.

The initiative is a continuation of the Nigerian Correctional Service reform that the Federal Executive Council approved in May 2017.

The project’s design, according to Controller General of Corrections Haliru Nababa, includes a medium security custodial center for medium-term and low-risk offenders as well as a maximum security custodial center for long-term and high-risk convicts.

According to him, there would be a hospital, classrooms, standard workshops, vocational centers, places of worship for both Christians and Muslims, recreation centers, shopping centers, guest houses, clubhouses, and a host of other facilities. There would also be two court rooms for a High Court and a Magistrate Court for easy case dispensation.

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