FG set to expand prison holding capacity by 9000

In continuation of the implementation of the Nigeria Correctional Service reform approved by the Federal Executive Council in May 2017, Federal Government has expressed its resolve to fast-track the immediate completion of at least three out of the six 3,000-capacity mega custodial centers spread across the geo-political zones in the country.

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola made this known yesterday after an inspection tour of one of the facilities located in Karshi town of the Federal Capital Territory.

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The project, which is part of the efforts by the federal government to decongest the nation’s prisons, would add 9,000 more spaces to the current carrying capacity of the Nigerian prisons.

Nigeria’s entire national custodial facilities have a maximum capacity of 57,278 inmates, but as of the last count, a total population of 68,747 inmates comprising 67,422 males and 1,325 females was recorded.

Speaking after the tour, Aregbesola said:

“I am pleased with the pace of work and I have asked the contractors to continue working at full speed. The challenge we have is funding and I am going to meet with our dear president on this issue to see how we can get more funds to at least complete three of the six projects.

“By this, we hope to complete this project in Karshi, the one in Kano, and the one in Bori, Rivers state.

“When we are able to do that, it will reduce the stress on our other facilities and also enhance the administration of justice”.

What’s the structural design of the project?

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Speaking on the design of the project, Controller-General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa said it would include a maximum security custodial center -for long and high-risk inmates- and a medium security custodial center -for medium-term and minor offenders- adding that it would house two courtrooms, standard workshops/vocational training centers, classrooms, hospital, place of worship, recreational centers amongst others.