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Nigeria Correctional Service decries grossly inadequate inmate feeding rates amid economic hardship

Calls for Review as Service Struggles to Sustain Welfare Amid Escalating Economic Challenges

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The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) expressed deep concern on Friday over the glaring inadequacy of the current feeding rates provided to inmates amidst the country’s mounting economic hardship.

With a total inmate population reaching 77,602, including 23,896 convicted individuals and 53,706 awaiting trial detainees, the NCoS underscored the urgent need for a reassessment of its feeding provisions to ensure humane conditions within its facilities.

Allocating just N750 per inmate with a mere N250 per meal, the service faces stark contrasts as it spends N800 daily to feed each of its 900 service dogs. This revelation, made by Controller General Haliru Nababa during a December 7, 2023, session with the National Assembly Committee on Interior, sparked renewed calls for an overhaul of the current feeding budget.

The proposed increase to N3,000 per inmate daily remains pending before the Minister of Interior, a decision complicated by the fluctuating economic landscape. Nababa’s appeal, made amidst a challenging forex environment with the naira trading at 1,900/$ compared to 1,200/$ at the time, highlights the pressing need for swift action to address the service’s financial constraints.

Addressing concerns about maintaining inmate and staff welfare amid economic adversity, NCoS Spokesperson Umar Abubakar emphasized the service’s resilience in managing scarce resources amidst daunting economic realities. Despite grappling with limited funding, Abubakar lauded the service’s resourcefulness and strategic allocation of resources to sustain operations.

“While the economic landscape poses formidable challenges, the NCoS remains steadfast in its commitment to uphold inmate welfare and operational integrity,” Abubakar stated. “Despite the evident shortcomings in current feeding rates, the service has adeptly navigated economic constraints, ensuring stability within our facilities.”

As the country grapples with economic uncertainties, the NCoS calls for urgent intervention to address the widening gap between inmate feeding provisions and prevailing economic realities, underscoring the imperative of safeguarding humane conditions and maintaining institutional stability amidst adversity.

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