Michael Olugbode in Abuja
Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said the country’s correctional facilities are now impregnable from attack, insisting that the federal government has taken all necessary measures to protect them from intruders.
The minister made the claim yesterday in Abuja while answering questions from journalists during the review of the third and fourth quarters of 2021 on the performance of the ministry and its paramilitary agencies.
Many correctional facilities over the past few months have come under attack along with released prisoners, which has raised concerns among Nigerians.
Aregbesola, while responding to allegations that some high-level detainees at Kuje Detention Center in Abuja, are housed in nearby hotels and not in the correctional facility, said, “I have said it many times that everything we need to do to make our correctional facilities impregnable has been done, but the allegations you’ve raised are so disturbing that I even want to call in the press to investigate when you hear anything.
He assured Nigerians that correctional facilities across the country are well secured and it is almost impossible to house an inmate in a hotel instead of a correctional facility.
He asked: How is it possible for an inmate of the correctional institution to live in a hotel? It’s just impossible, so the answer is that this allegation is false and it’s almost impossible.
The Minister, while admitting that urbanization has brought the development of housing near certain correctional centers including that of Kuje, noted that: “there is a minimum setback between all correctional centers and any human development and I want to believe that this is being observed even in the Kuje Correctional Institution and all of our other institutions and where for some reason it is not yet fully enforced, we will enforce it.
Aregbesola, while giving a scorecard on the performance of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), said it was the most successful paramilitary agency as it introduced a number of innovations and strategies that have delivered results in protecting the public and critical infrastructure. in the countryside.
He hailed the creation of the Corps’ female squad which he said has made schools safer from kidnappings.
He also assured everyone of better service delivery in the processing of passports by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), saying that most of the challenges and problems encountered while processing passports came from the applicants due to erroneous data imputations and other errors.
He said, “Federal Fire Service (FFS) operations have grown from 14 states and FCT before this administration to all 36 states in the federation, all equipped with modern firefighting equipment.”
In his speech, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, said the quarterly review is conducted by the ministry to identify gaps, challenges and areas for improvement through an assessment of its performance and those of the agencies that depend on it using the key performances. indicators provided by the federal government for homeland security.
He said that “discussions at this meeting will further identify gaps in the implementation of programs and policies that are being implemented.”