Several months after the Federal Government announced increment in the feeding allowance of prison inmates from N200 to N300 and Gas N150 daily from January 2015, the government is yet to implement the policy.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that a former spokesman for the Nigerian Prisons Service, NPS, Mr. Ope Fatimokun, had on November 5, 2014, told a Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies, FOSSRA/I-Nigerian Initiative in Abuja, that inmates’ feeding allowances had been reviewed upwards from the current daily N200 to N300 and N150 for gas with effect from January 2015.
But fielding questions from newsmen in Abuja yesterday on the sidelines of the Nigerian Prisons Service Strategic Plan Development National Retreat, the Comptroller-General of Prisons, Dr. Peter Ezenwa Ekpendu, said the increment is yet to be implemented.
He declared that the usual N200 feeding per day was grossly inadequate even as he hinted that food suppliers were being owed millions of naira by the authorities.
Ekpendu said: “We are concerned about the welfare of inmates and that was while the N200 per day feeding allowance, which is grossly inadequate was increased to N300 per day but this increment is yet to be implemented and the reason is that there is no money. We want to see how we can pay our contractors the debts we have owed them.”
The Prison boss revealed that since his assumption of office on December 6, 2014, he had found it difficult to execute any capital project due to lack of funds.
“Based on our proposed financial allocation, there is nothing I can achieve with such money. We inherited a backlog of promotions, which we have cleared. We are also thinking of further promotion. We intend to get more personnel this year; an advert will be placed soon to that effect. The issue of jailbreak also has reduced.”
On the training and capacity-building plan for prisons’ officials in the next five years, the CG said issues of human rights and treatment of prisoners, reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners would be addressed.
Executive Director of Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, PRAWA, Dr. Uju Agomoh, urged Nigerians not to reject freed or reformed prisoners since they are part of the society, adding that, “Prisoners go in there and come out, so we need to see prisons as a sector that needs attention.”

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