The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore has assured the nation that necessary steps have been taken to forestall any future breach of the nation’s Correctional Facilities across the country. In his words, “i am confident to let you know that our Correctional Facilities are protected with state of art equipment and well-trained armed men to forestall future attacks”.
The Permanent Secretary gave this assurance while representing the Hon. Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola at an official ceremony featuring the decoration of newly promoted Officers of Correctional Service and commissioning of 35 operational vehicles for Para-military agencies under the Ministry.
Dr. Belgore who identified congestion in the nation’s Correctional facilities as one of the greatest problems confronting the Ministry, directed all Controllers in charge of the nation’s correctional facilities to implement without delay, the Ministry’s directive to decongest the facilities as stipulated in the NCoS Act, which stipulates the desired human environment where inmates can actualise their potentials while serving their jail terms.
Noting that three quarters of overcrowded inmates are awaiting trials, he urged the Controllers to work with State Governments to speedily dispense justice and attend to problems of inmates who are minor offenders that ought not to be behind bars for long.
The Permanent Secretary on behalf of his Minister thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for boosting the Ministry’s drive at decongesting the facilities through his approval for the building of ultra-modern correctional facilities in Kano and Karshi Abuja FCT that will not only accommodate more inmates but provide better facilities for inmates to improve their living conditions.
The facilities are also to enable the inmates acquire necessary skill acquisition in a conducive atmosphere that will enable them better their lots and prepare such inmates for subsequent integration to the society after serving their terms.
Dr. Belgore also used the occasion to appeal to all officers to see themselves as stakeholders in the maintenance of peace and security especially during the coming elections. “We are a critical stakeholder in conduct of elections in Nigeria owing to our direct involvement in providing security before, during and after elections in addition to our routine day-to-day service.’
The Minister’s representative also disclosed that part of efforts to improve internal security of the country is the recently launched platform to report any security breach during election period and beyond.
“The Ministry has launched a mobile device enabled App called N-Alerts. This mobile platform is available for download via Android Google play store and iOS App store to provide real time opportunity to report any form of security issue ranging from election related matters, fire outbreak, attacks on national assets and infrastructure.
He equally thanked the President for provision of the operational vehicles which will further enhance the performance of the Services.
Present at the occasion were, the Controller General of Correctional Service, Aliyu Nababa, the Chairman of the Board, Maj. Gen (Rtd) E. E. Bassey, Hon. Comm. (A & P), the Secretary of the Board, Ajia Aisha Rufai, some directors from the Ministry of Interior.
Afonja Fatai Ajibola
DD (Press & Public Relations)