Nigerian Prison Service Shortstaffed, Needs N6bn For Recruitment

Prison in Bauchi, Nigeria's northeast region/Photo: AFP
Prison in Bauchi, Nigeria’s northeast region/Photo: AFP

Over  N6 billion is needed to increase the workforce of the Nigeria Prison Service (NPS) as it grapples with poor financing and other debilitating factors.

This was disclosed by the NPS Comptroller-General, Ja’afaru Ahmed, while giving an appraisal of the 2016 budget and defending the 2017 one to the House Committee on Interior.

The chairman of the committee, Adams Jagaba (Kaduna/ Kachia-Kagarko), expressed dismay at the failure of the prison service to fully utilise the N4.3 billion approved for the procurement of vehicles for inmate transportation. He also frowned at the spate of jailbreaks occurring.

He stressed the need for a reform of the NPS in order to get it running efficiently and effectively.

Members of the committee said their piece and wondered aloud at how the Service is able to achieve construction of satellite prisons even though it is poorly-funded.

In his response, Ahmad explained that the Service operates four types of salary templates adding that the appropriated fund for personnel cost was inadequate to pay the 27,992 personnel for 2016.

This led to the Service requesting for N3.9 billion from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

According to the Business Times, the Comptroller-General said the sum of N6 billion would be needed to recruit the staff needed in all states of the federation.

Of the existing 240 prisons, 83 prisons are categorised as satellite prisons while 210 were inherited from the colonial masters from 1897, 1901 and 1902.

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