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Reps to probe correctional service over poor working conditions



The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to investigate the Nigeria Correctional Service over the poor state of inmates and its officers.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance titled: “Urgent need to investigate the deplorable state of inmates and the unwholesome working conditions of officers and men of the Nigeria Correctional Service despite huge budgetary allocations with attendant adverse effects on security of custodial facilities and the new mandate of the service,” sponsored by Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu.

In his presentation, Elumelu said the working conditions of staff and inmates have drastically declined despite the N165 billion budget allocations to the service in the last two years.

He said: “The staff still buy or make their uniforms to date, regardless of the huge budget allocations provided for this purpose. Provision of uniform for inmates is non-existent in most custodial centres.

“Upon the enactment of the NSC Act 2019, Nigeria joined most countries of the world in adopting modern correctional alternatives to incarceration or imprisonment including non-custodial measures.

READ ALSO: Reps to commence inquest into N165bn budgeted for Correctional Services in last two years

“The extant Act situates the workforce of the service as the single most important resource available to the correctional system and thus prioritised the welfare of these officers and men in line with international best practices to propel them to optimal performance.

“Despite this Act and increase in budgetary allocations to the NCS to drive its renewed mandate, the tempo and quality of the service have remained the same, if not retrogressing.

“The working conditions of staff and inmates’ welfare have deteriorated notwithstanding the over N165 billion budget allocations to the service in the last two years.

“The arms squad unit of the service still parades obsolete and substandard weapons despite over N1 billion budget provision for prison biometrics, arms and ammunition in the 2020/2021 capital budget, thus, impeding its ability to deter, prevent or respond effectively to both internal and external threats.”

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