The Federal Government has unveiled plans to invest in the building of modern prisons across the country.
Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), disclosed this at an event held on Saturday in Abuja.
He said, “Most of our prisons, particularly those situated in urban centres are more than a century old; over a hundred years old.
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“So, what we do is to ensure that we build modern prisons that will meet the required universal standard for the treatment and rehabilitation of prison inmates.
Dambazzau offered some perspective at the inauguration of some projects at the Headquarters of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) in the nation’s capital.
According to him, correctional facilities in the country are in dire need of rehabilitation or outright replacement.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Interior, Mr Adams Jagaban, also addressed the audience at the event.
He hinted that the plan by the National Assembly to make the prison an efficient corrective service centre was already contained in the Nigeria Correctional Service Bill.
The lawmaker noted that the bill had been passed but has yet to be assented to by the President.
He said, “Honourable Minister, I want to assure you and the Nigerian public that apart from the physical thing one can see and touch, the greatest achievement is the passage of this bill.”
“Since 1999 that we have been working hard to pass this bill, it has never reached this level but with the cooperation of the current Controller-General of Prisons, we have reached the position we are today,” Jagaban added.
Nigeria has over 1,400 prisons across the country and most of them are in a poor state and over-populated.
According to the NPS, there are over 73,000 inmates in these facilities with more than 23,000 convicted.
No fewer than 49,000 inmates are awaiting trial for various offences they are said to have committed.