June 9, 2023

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FG Spends N22 Billion to Feed Inmates

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CEM REPORT, HUMANITARIAN | The Federal Government have said provision of feeding and accommodation for inmates is draining the Federal Government’s revenue.

Federal Government revealed that currently, it spends over N22 billion to feed inmates across 244 correctional facilities in the country.

To resolve this spending, the federal government has directed the state government to henceforth provide feeding and accommodation to inmates in their states.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola stated this at a 2-day High-Level Conference on Decongestion and Corrections Management held in Abuja.

He outlined how states now have the authority to construct their own correctional services and facilities thanks to a 1999 change to the constitution that put the topic on the concurrent list.

According to Aregbesola, states without prisons would have to reimburse the federal government for housing and feeding their inmates.

He also disclosed that 4,067 prisoners are detained because they are unable to pay fines of N1 million or less.

The minister represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, noted that the projected spending of N22.4 billion to feeding inmates in correctional centres nationwide has been budgeted for in the 2023 Appropriation Act.

He claimed that the number of inmates in the detention facilities had been steadily increasing, with at least 80% of those currently awaiting trial.

He stated that there are 244 detention facilities across the country with 75,507 inmates, making 82 of them overcrowded.

He stated that there are 1,686 female inmates and 73,821 male inmates overall.

Adding that 52,436 of the 75,507 prisoners are awaiting trial, 23,071 have been found guilty, and 3,322 are on death row as condemned prisoners.

He also disclosed that 4,067 prisoners are detained because they are unable to pay fines of N1 million or less.

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