The federal government of Nigeria has said that it has budgeted a total of N22.44billion to feed prison inmates in all the custodial centres across the country.
This was confirmed by the permanent secretary of Ministry of Interior Shauib Belgore on Thursday.
Belgore stated this during the two days conference on Decongestion and Corrections Administration program in Abuja.
The Federal Government also has asked state governors to establish their own correctional services and also build their custodial centres, saying that the law has empowered them to do so.and as such the money the federal government are spending on the prison inmates are reduced.
The federal government also told state governments to take responsibility of feeding inmates they arrested as the federal government will no longer be feeding inmates arrested by state governments.
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Belgore said 90 per cent of inmates in the custodial facilities were arrested and being prosecuted by state governments.
Also speaking at the program on Thursday, the Nigerian Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola agreed with the ministry’s permanent secretary, maintaining that states must see to the accommodation and care of its offenders so as to help the federal government save cost.
He said, “With the amendment to the constitution in this regard, states are now empowered to build correctional centres and facilities to house offenders, who are convicted and sentenced for committing state offences. Where states are unable to build custodial centres, it is believed that they can suggest ways to collaborate with the Federal Government in feeding and housing these state offenders.
“Overcrowding in the custodial centres has led to a huge revenue drain for the Federal Government, being the only party shouldering the responsibility of running and maintaining the custodial centres. The Federal Government can’t bear this anymore. I am going to leave strict recomnendations to my successor on that law. We would rather use the money meant for feeding inmates to improve our facilities. “