Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola on Thursday said it is necessary to present President Muhammadu Buhari’s concrete achievements as a visionary leader who has improved the fortunes of the less privileged in the country.
The minister said the President had shown commitments to the welfare of Nigerians through various efforts and initiatives, one of which is the approval of 3,000-capacity Custodian Centre each in the six geo-political zones of the country.
“Today, we are not doing ground-breaking but we are presenting to Nigerians the concrete achievements of the present administration under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
Aregbesola spoke at the presentation of the centre at Karshi in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The minister said the Nigerian Correctional Service had been neglected for so long that its facilities that used to house inmates had become tumbledown and overstretched.
“It is on record, ladies and gentlemen, that our administration under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has accorded attention to the Nigerian Correctional Service and indeed other agencies under my ministry, much more than any previous governments in the country.
“The interventions are in all fronts – funding, logistics, infrastructure, human resource development and legal framework culminating in the recent enactment of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019. I dare say that more positive reforms and interventions are forthcoming,” Aregbesola said.
The minister noted that the construction of this maximum Security Custodial Centre was in continuation of the implementation of the reforms of the Nigerian Correctional Service.
He added that the projects were “borne out of the need to address the deplorable state of structures in the various custodial centres, most of which were old, over-stretched, dilapidated and overcrowded and largely lacking humane conditions and platform for reformation and rehabilitation of inmates”.
Aregbesola said: “The strategies are also in line with the avowed commitment of President Buhari’s administration to improve the fortunes of the less privileged members of the society, including those behind bars.
“There is no denying that our about 250 facilities are inadequate to house the over 74,000 inmates in our custody presently. Indeed, one major concern about our correctional institution is inadequate housing for inmates.”