In continuation of the implementation of the Nigeria Correctional Service Reforms, the Federal Government, yesterday, unveiled a 3,000-Capacity Maximum Security Custodial Centre being constructed in Karshi, Abuja Municipal Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory.
While unveiling the project, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, who also performed the ground-breaking ceremony of a female correctional facility at the centre, stated that the effort was in line with the avowed commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration to improve the fortunes of the less privileged members of the society including those behind bars.
He noted that the project was aimed at addressing the deplorable state of structures in the various Custodial Centres across the country ‘most of which were old, over-stretched, dilapidated, overcrowded and largely lacking humane conditions, a platform for reformation and rehabilitation of inmates.’
The Minister who observed the inadequate housing for inmates stated that the nation’s about 250 facilities are inadequate to house the over 74,000 inmates in the various custodial facilities across the country.
Ogbeni Aregbesola further disclosed that as part of the strategies to improving the conditions of inmates and the general state of the Custodial Centres, construction of Maximum Security Custodial Centres in each of the six Geo-Political Zones of the country was conceptualized.
He added that the interventions of President Muhammadu Buhari in the Nigeria Correctional Service and other agencies under his watch were in all fronts – funding, logistics, infrastructure, human resource development and legal framework, culminating in the recent enactment of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019. “I dare say that more positive reforms and interventions are forthcoming,” he said.
The Minister assured that his Ministry would continue to lend necessary support to all its Agencies with a view to promoting and realizing the Presidential Mandate of providing internal security and citizenship integrity for all Nigerians and foreigners alike.
Speaking earlier, the Controller-General of Corrections, Ja’afaru Ahmed said 3,000-Capacity Maximum Security Custodial Centre is to be sited in all the six (6) geo-political zones of the country so as to address inmates’ congestion in the nation’s custodial centres.
The Controller-General disclosed that the construction of the first 3,000-capacity Maximum Security Custodial Centre in Nigeria commenced in 2017 with the official ground-breaking ceremony for the project in Janguza, Kano state, representing the North-West Geo-political zone, saying the second was the one being unveiled in Karshi, Federal Capital Territory for the North-Central.
He stated further that the Federal Government was working towards performing the ground-breaking ceremony of the third one in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers state, representing the -South-South Geo-political Zone very soon.
He added that the facilities would provide better platforms for the implementation of the provisions of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019.
“The Construction of these Maximum Security Custodial Centres signals a new dawn in our penal system,” Ja’afaru said.
He pledged the commitment of all the officers and men of the Nigerian Correctional Service to continue to do whatever that is humanly possible to justify Government’s huge investments on the service.
Also speaking, the Emir of Karshi, Alhaji Ismaila Danladi expressed the gratitude of the people of the area to the Federal Government for locating the project in their domain.
He pledged his community’s continued support to the President Muhammmadu Buhari-led Administration in its determination to ensuring the provision of internal security, revitalising the economy and fighting corruption, with a view to attracting more Foreign Direct Investments to the country.