Assistant Prisons Controller, Othman Musa, has disclosed that the service spends no les than N400 per meal to feed each prisoner.
The Prisons Controller also alleged that frequent adjournment of court cases was partly responsible for the frequent cases of jail breaks in the country.
Othman Musa speaking with newsmen on Thursday in Abuja said that the prisons structures across the country were old and dilapidated.
According to him:
“Most of our facilities are virtually as old as Nigeria because most of them are over 100 years old and the same structures, housing large number of inmates.
“These are buildings constructed during the pre-colonial period and they house as much as 40 inmates, more than thrice its capacity.
“So you find out that at any given time, there is congestion. Which is not unconnected with the frequent adjournment of court cases.
“We have more awaiting trials than the convicted inmates. So where you are supposed to have 10 people in a room, you are now having 20 or 25 people.”
The Assistant Prisons Controller, however, mentioned that the Service has taken a number of steps in order to address the concerns.
Othman Musa also used the opportunity to call on the public to assist by showing love and care to prisoners.
Prisons Controller Urges Nigerians To Show Prisoners Love
According to him, those incarcerated are our brothers, sisters and relations.
But hardly do they get visited by members of the public, both when they are in prison and out of prison.
Musa stated that the moment you stigmatise an ex-convict, he has no alternative than to go back to their old friends and then back to prisons.
He advised friends and relatives of convicts to show them love and care after imprisonment.
He also admonished that they be introduced to religious activities, brought closer and given advise, as these may help change them.
Musa also revealed that the welfare of prisoners was poor but that efforts were on to improve on the condition.
“As at now, I can say the feeding is okay. You know you cannot feed a person three times daily on N1,000 and expect that food to be okay.
“But with the present increase in feeding fee, there is much improvement in the quality of the meals.
“Their feeding is N400 now per meal three times per day.”