The Federal Government has said each prisoner in the country’s correctional facilities receives a yearly stipend of N1 million.
This was announced in a statement released on Saturday in Abuja by Sola Fasure, the media adviser to Rauf Aregbesola, the interior minister.
The statement claims that the minister made this declaration at the opening of a 20-bed hospital and equipment facility for the COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund at the Maximum Security Custodial Center in Port Harcourt.
The project, according to the minister, will leave a lasting legacy and serve as proof of how seriously the federal government has until to this point taken care of corrections, inmates’ welfare, and staff welfare.
Aregbesola continued by saying that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had, to a significant part, addressed the issue of detainees contracting ailments in detention facilities.
According to him, “The custodial centres were frighteningly centres for contracting diseases like scabies and tuberculosis, among others.
“Happily, this has been addressed by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and is now a thing of the past.
“We not only have well-manned clinics and well stocked pharmacies, the inmates at the custodial centres now have access to excellent medical cares beyond the centres.”
The minister also decried the great difficulties in managing the penitentiary system, which faces enormous demands for equipment, infrastructure, and preserving inmates’ welfare.
The Federal Government, he claimed, had offered a long-term answer to the problems.
He said, “This centre in Port Harcourt, with a capacity for 1,800 inmates, presently houses about 3,067 inmates. This is just a reflection of the situation in most urban custodial centres where we have congestion at the moment.
“The facilities and even the personnel are overstretched, but we are coping and providing long term solutions to this challenge.
“One of such solutions is the construction of mega 3,000-capacity custodial villages in six geo-political zones of the country. The one for the South-South is in Bori, not far from here in Rivers.
“The ones for the North-West in Janguza, Kano and the North-Central, in Karshi, Abuja, are ready. Hopefully, we shall inaugurate the one in Kano in a few days, before our departure.
“Even work is steadily going on in the others and has reached appreciable level.
“Let me also reiterate that the Federal Government will stop feeding inmates incarcerated for breaching state laws. As you commence your budget process for next year, include feeding of your inmates.”