The house of Representatives is to investigate the deteriorating working conditions in the Nation’s correctional centers.
This was the resolution of a motion under matters of urgent national importance moved by the minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu from Delta State at Plenary.
Mr Elumelu, in his lead debate, expressed concern over the poor working conditions of the Nigerian correctional centres, adding that despite the yearly funds allocated to the sector, its officers are currently living below standards.
He expressed concern over the plight of thousands of Nigerians working in the Service, whom he described as the single most important resource available to the correctional system and thus
prioritized the welfare of the Officers and men in line with international best practices to propel them to optimal performance.
“The House is disturbed that despite this Act and increase in budgetary allocations to the Nigerian Correctional Service to drive its renewed mandate, the tempo and quality of the Service have remained the same if not retrogressing.
“The House is worried that the working conditions of Staff and inmates’ welfare have deteriorated notwithstanding the over N165 billion budget allocations to the Service in the last two years.
The lawmaker, Observed that the Arms Squad unit of the Service still parades obsoletes and substandard weapons despite over N1 billion budget provision for prison biometrics, arms and ammunition in the 2020/2021 capital budget, thus, impeding its ability to deter, prevent or respond effectively to both internal and external threats.
According to the minority leader, the Staff still buys or makes their uniform to date regardless of the huge budget allocations provided for this purpose, adding that provision of uniform for inmates is nonexistent in most Custodial centres.
Elumelu added that the demoralizing effects of the allegations, given increasing evidence of susceptibility of some officers and men compromising the security of custodial facilities, might worsen violations of the facilities and current security challenges in the country.
The Speaker Mr Femi Gbajabiamila who ruled on the motion directed the committee on reformatory institutions to look into the matter and report back in eight weeks for further legislative action.