Correctional Service: Minister Asks for More Funds as Catholic Church Commissions Centre

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola during a Budget Defence Meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Reformatory Institutions held at the National Assembly Complex, appealed for considerable attention to be given to the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).

Aregbesola who gave a vivid analysis of what corrections entails and how it is driven in other climes, emphasised that Nigeria is just at the entry point as far as the issue is concerned. He further stressed that the moment an individual’s freedom is taken away from him/her, the responsibility of catering for the basic needs of such an individual becomes the duty of the holding authority and that describes how cost intensive the correction regime is.

The Interior Minister who appreciated members of the committee for the audience, beckoned on them to use their good offices to ensure that the NCS gets the much desired attention as they consider the year 2020 budget.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, House Committee on Reformatory Institutions, Hon . Lazarus N. Ogbe appreciated the minister and the Controller-General of Corrections (CGC) Ja’afaru Ahmed for honouring the committee’s invitation. He expressed the unalloyed commitment of the legislature in ensuring that the NCS is taken to its ideal height in line with global best standards.

In his presentation, CGC Ahmed who expressed great delight in the new order occasioned by the commitment of the legislature in passing the NCS Bill 2019 and the subsequent assent by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR which brings the NCS under the oversight of the House Committee on Reformatory Institutions as against that of Interior, as it then was.

The Corrections’ boss began with the year 2019 budget performance, highlighting significant achievements in the following areas: training of over 11,000 personnel locally and internationally; acquisition of different grades of Trade Test Certificates by 131 inmates, massive infrastructural upgrade with 318 Capital Projects completed out of 423; procurement of 137 vehicles including, green marias, duty vans, staff buses, sewage trucks, water tankers, ambulances, etc; among others.

Ja’afaru while presenting the NCS year 2020 Budget Proposal to the committee, added his voice in calling on the legislature to give premium attention to a Service he described as a “neglected Service” until the advent of the present administration.

While assuring the committee that NCS was poised to efficiently and effectively utilise the huge government investment in the Service, he also stressed that the new NCS Act 2019, has come with a number of significant changes that require additional cost.

Members of the committee took turns to respond to the presentations by the Minister and the CGC and requested clarification on certain areas. The meeting was then adjourned to Tuesday 22nd October, 2019 for further deliberations.

Present at the meeting, were the Clerk of the Committee, senior officials from the Ministry of Interior and the management team of the NCS.

DSC. SS Bulus
Sambeee23@gmail.com
Public Relations Unit, NCS NHQ-Abuja.
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MULTI MILLION NAIRA SKILLS ACQUISITION CENTRE FOR INMATES COMMISSIONED

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Catholic Archdiocese, His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Valerian Okeke commissioned the Multi Million Naira Skills Acquisition Centre built and equipped for the inmates of Onitsha Custodial Centre by the Catholic archdiocese of Onishta

The Prelate who concelebrated High Mass at the Centre to mark his birthday, charged the inmates to make proper use of the facility to equip themselves to be self reliant on discharge from custody.

Thereafter, the facility was formally commissioned and handed over to the Nigerian Correctional Service.

The Controller General, Nigerian Correctional Service Ja’faru Ahmed represented by the Zonal Coordinator of Zone “G” ACG Tina Okereke in her response, thanked the Archbishop for this rare gesture and benevolence, and promised that the facility will be put to good use by making sure that the inmates imbibe skills necessary to make them self reliant ,and aid them to stay away from crime and criminality on discharge.

The skills acquisition Centre consists of computer lab, electronics, shoemaking, welding, carpentry, tailoring and barbing sections among others..

Earlier on Saturday, the inmates honoured the Archbishop with novelty football competition which the “G” and “H” wards emerge overall winner and second runner up respectively. The Archbishop presented prizes to the winning team, and also donated food items, toiletries, 200 pieces of foams amongst others

Dignitaries who graced the occasion and also gave gifts to the inmates include the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Sen. Dr. Chris Ngige, the wife of the State Governor Chief Mrs Eberechukwu Obiano, Hon. Ibuzo and other members of the state Assembly and Exco members.

DSC EKEZIE FRANCIS
COMMAND PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
NIGERIAN CORRECTIONAL SERVICE ANAMBRA STATE COMMAND