By John Ikani
The Senate Committee on Interior has resolved to jerk up the daily feeding cost of a prisoner per day, to N1,000 (about $2.44) from N750 ($1.83) proposed by the Executive in the 2022 budget.
The increase became necessary after the Committee Chairman, Senator Kashim Shettima (APC Borno Central) and members frowned at the N750 daily feeding cost proposed for each of the inmates across the custodian centres as an increase from the current N450 ($1.10) feeding cost.
Making the move on behalf of the Committee, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North), said N750 going by the value of Naira today and high costs of consumables, is inadequate.
Seconding the motion, Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP Rivers West), 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 Chairman accordingly ruled in favour of the motion by hitting the gavel on the table to that effect and promised to discuss the Committee’s decision with the leadership of the Senate.
“The proposed N1,000.00 is the minimum and will surely be reflected in the budget to be passed by way of required appropriation,” he said.
Earlier in his presentation before the Committee during 2022 Budget Defence, the Acting Comptroller General of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), Mr Idris Isa said there is a total of 66,346 total inmates in Correctional Centres across the country.
According to him, out of the 66,346 total inmates in Correctional Centres across the country, 47,959 are yet to be convicted and are awaiting trial.
He said this development made most of the custodian centres to be congested and fall below the international standard of Correctional Services.
On the problem of prison congestion, Senator Utazi moved a motion for the Committee to have an interface with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other stakeholders on expeditious justice delivery in decongesting the nation’s prisons.