February 25, 2024

The Senate Criticizes Disparity in Feeding Budget for Prisoners and Dogs in Nigeria Correctional Service

During the 2024 budget defense session with the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Interior in Abuja, former Edo State Governor and Committee Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, expressed dismay at the significant difference in budget allocation for dogs and inmates in Nigeria’s Correctional Service.

Oshiomhole highlighted that while the Correctional Service spends N800 per day to feed each of its 900 security dogs, only N750 is allocated for feeding each prisoner, most of whom await trial. He stressed the alarming discrepancy, questioning why dogs were better fed than the inmates, emphasizing the inadequate provision for those awaiting trial.

The Comptroller General of the Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, informed the Committee that despite having over 81,000 inmates nationwide, the service provides a mere N750 per day to feed each prisoner, an amount deemed insufficient. Nababa pleaded for an increase to N3,000 per inmate daily and submitted the proposal to the Minister of Interior.

Oshiomhole expressed concern that innocent individuals awaiting trial are subjected to inadequate feeding, possibly leading to further issues. He criticized the disparity, urging a reassessment of budgetary priorities to ensure humane treatment of inmates.

The Committee sought explanations on the welfare of inmates and dogs, questioning the number of medical and veterinary staff available. Nababa cited 75 medical doctors and consultants and six veterinary doctors overseeing multiple states’ facilities.

Several lawmakers, including Representatives Adebayo Balogun, Francis Fadahunsi, and Senators Yahaya Abdullahi, Ezenwa Onyewuchi, Ireti Kingibe, and Abdulaziz Yari, were present at the session.

The Committee vowed not to hastily approve budgets until satisfactory explanations and resolutions are provided, highlighting the need for equitable treatment and care for those in custody.

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