The Nigerian Federal Government has reaffirmed its commitment to improving the welfare of inmates in correctional facilities across the country. In a recent development, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, inaugurated a state-of-the-art COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund Hospital and Equipment at the Maximum Security Custodial Centre in Port Harcourt. This initiative is part of the government’s efforts to address the health challenges faced by inmates and provide them with better medical care.
Minister Aregbesola emphasized the administration’s dedication to enhancing the welfare of inmates and the staff working in the correctional facilities. He stated that the government currently allocates N1 million annually for each inmate, underscoring its commitment to their well-being. The funding aims to ensure that inmates receive the necessary care and support during their time in custody.
One of the major achievements highlighted by the minister was the significant reduction in the incidence of diseases such as scabies and tuberculosis within custodial centers. He attributed this improvement to the measures implemented by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. The provision of well-manned clinics and well-stocked pharmacies has significantly enhanced the medical services available to inmates, both within and beyond the correctional centers.
Minister Aregbesola acknowledged the challenges faced in running correctional services, including the need for infrastructure, equipment, and maintaining inmate welfare. However, he assured the public that the government has implemented long-term solutions to address these issues effectively. To alleviate overcrowding in custodial centers, the government has embarked on the construction of mega custodial villages in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country. These villages will have a capacity of 3,000 inmates each and are expected to provide better living conditions for inmates.
The minister also announced a significant policy change regarding the feeding of inmates. He stated that the Federal Government would no longer be responsible for feeding inmates incarcerated for breaching state laws. Instead, the respective state governments will take on this responsibility. Minister Aregbesola urged state authorities to factor in inmate feeding when planning their budgets for the upcoming year.
During the inauguration of the COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund Hospital and Equipment, Minister Aregbesola commended the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) for their efforts in maintaining a safe and healthy environment within the facilities. He emphasized that the new hospital would play a crucial role in addressing the medical concerns of both inmates and correctional service personnel. The facility is part of a larger initiative to improve healthcare services and enhance the overall well-being of those in custody.
The Federal Government’s commitment to inmate welfare and addressing health challenges in correctional facilities underscores its dedication to creating a safer and more secure society. Through increased funding, infrastructure development, and improved medical care, the government aims to ensure the well-being of inmates during their time in custody. These initiatives, alongside ongoing reforms in the correctional system, are expected to have a positive impact on rehabilitation outcomes and contribute to the overall development of the country.
Punch Nigeria. “FG Spends N1m Annually on Each Inmate – Interior Minister.” [Online]. Available: https://punchng.com/fg-spends-n1m-annually-on-each-inmate-interior-minister/?amp
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