The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has said the nation’s correctional facilities (prisons) are now impregnable to attacks, insisting that the federal government has taken all needed measures to secure them against intruders.
The Minister made this assertion on Friday in Abuja while fielding questions from journalist during the 2021 third and fourth quarter review of the performance of the ministry and its paramilitary agencies.
Many correctional facilities in the last few months have been attacked with prisoners let loose, which has called for worries among Nigerians.
The Minister while responding to allegations that some high profile inmates at the Kuje custodial center in Abuja, are being lodged in nearby hotels and not in the correctional facility, said: “I have said it repeatedly that all that we must do to make our correctional facilities impregnable were done, however the allegations you raised are so worrisome that I want to even appeal to the press to investigate when you hear anything.”
He assured Nigerians that correctional facilities across the country are well secured and it is near impossible to lodge any inmate in any hotel instead of a correctional facilities.
He asked: How is it possible for an inmate in the correctional facility to live in an hotel? It is simply impossible so the answer is that that allegation is false and it is almost impossible.”
The Minister while admitting that urbanization have brought development of settlement close to some correctional centres including that of Kuje, noted that: “there is a minimum setback between all correctional centres and any human development and I want to believed that is observed even in the Kuje correctional facility and in all of our other facilities and where for whatever reason that is not yet fully enforced, we are going to enforce it.”
Aregbesola while giving a scorecard on the performance of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), said it is the most performing paramilitary agency as it has introduced a number of innovations and strategies that has yielded result in protecting the public and critical infrastructure in the country.
He commended the establishment of the Corps’ Female Squad which he said has buffered security across schools against kidnapping.
He also assured all of better service delivery in passports processing by the Nigeria Immigration Service, (NIS), he said most of the challenges and problems faced during passport processing emanates from the applicants because of faulty data imputation and other errors.
He said: “The operations of the Federal Fire Service, (FFS), grew from 14 States and FCT before this administration to all the 36 States of the Federation, all of them equipped with modern fire-fighting equipment.”
In his speech, Permanent Secretary of the Ministrt of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, said the quarterly review is conducted by the ministry to identify gaps, challenges and areas of improvement through an assessment of its performance and that of agencies under it using key performance indicators provided the federal government for internal security.
He said “The discussions at this meeting will further identity gaps of implantation of programmes and policies that are being implemented.”