Security dogs eat more than inmates– NCS
…Inmates get N750 feeding allowance, dogs, N800
The Nigeria Correctional Service has said it spends more money to feed dogs than the inmates.
It disclosed that while inmates are fed with N750 daily, security dogs get an N800 daily feeding allowance.
The Controller General of the NCS, Haliru Nababa, disclosed this on Thursday at a joint National Assembly Committee on Interior.
He said, “The NCS has written to the Minister of Interior requesting a review of the amount we are using to feed the inmates from N750 per day to N3,000 per day. We are still waiting for approval. We are therefore seeking the assistance of the National Assembly to approve the increment.
“We have made provision for the feeding of inmates, dogs and staff on training in six training institutions across the country. The money is grossly inadequate.
“The total number of inmates in 2023 is 81, 354 nationwide while 53, 352 are awaiting trial. The budget for feeding each of them per day is N751 per day at N250 per meal, per inmate.”
The CG explained that the feeding allowance per day would be reduced to N720 after the reduction of VAT and tax.
When the joint panel demanded the breakdown of the menu being served to the prisoners as breakfast, lunch and dinner, the CG and his team said it was based on the location of the custodial facility.
He added that the quantity of the food and the ingredients needed to prepare it were contained in the menu chart.
Senator Adams Oshiomhole, who is the Chairman of the joint committee, expressed worry about the sum spent on feeding the inmates going by the market price.
He said, “About 53, 352 or more are not convicted yet, they are awaiting trial. They are not guilty of any offence known to law; they are innocent under our laws. For an innocent Nigerian who is being held in a correctional home, N250 per meal is grossly inadequate. I wonder what you are feeding them with. They are obviously underfed.
“The Minister of Interior said yesterday that the NCS rather than being correctional is dehumanising. I am surprised that the 2024 budget is still based on old figures. I am surprised the CG cannot, based on the market forces, present before us the realistic amount that could feed an innocent Nigerian who has not been pronounced guilty by any court. You mean the chart is so complicated that you will need to read a book to tell us?”
Oshiomhole further caused a stir when he asked the NCS team how much it costs them to buy the quantity of the foodstuff and ingridients needed to prepare the meal of a prisoner.
Oshiomhole said, “This is a very important assignment. A lot of Nigerians under your care are innocent. They are in prisons, courtesy of big men and women who want to ‘teach them a lesson’.
“Many of them are there on an offence they knew nothing about. However, the system has put them under your care. Somebody said if Mandela was in a Nigerian prison for 27 years, he would have lost his sanity by the time he was released to govern South Africa.
“Our prisons are meant to correct the behaviours of the people. They are not condemnation centres. They are not to dehumanise. How can you look us eye to eye and tell us that you feed a grown-up man in Nigeria with N750 a day?
“One of the things that have come out is that an unconvicted Nigerian is being fed with N750 and you feed each of the dogs under your care with N800 per day! So, a dog is better fed in the Nigerian prison than an innocent Nigerian in your custody.
“It is a policy issue. We don’t know the intention of the government to allocate more money to feed animals than to feed human beings. It is a major policy issue for us.”