SENATE FROWNS AT N200 FEEDING ALLOWANCE FOR INMATES
The Senate Tuesday described as inhuman and unacceptable the practice of feeding inmates with N200 per day.
The upper chamber said that its findings showed that N130 is actually spent to feed each inmate per day.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Usman Bayero Nafada, stated this at a budget defence session with the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau, in Abuja.
The Nation reported on Monday about emerging uneasiness in the Nigeria Prisons Service over the shortfall in ration vote in the 2016 budget proposal.
Officials of Interior Ministry, the Nigeria Prisons Service and ration contractors were said to have expressed concern about the shortfall.
Nafada said that his committee will take up the issue of feeding of inmates with relevant authorities to ensure that the right thing was done.
He said, “N200 per inmate per day is unacceptable. If you look at it you are actually feeding each inmate with N130 per day.
“When you remove Value Added Tax, contractors’ profit and other corporate services, the N200 comes to about N130 to feed one inmate in a day.
“It is inhuman to feed a human being with N130 in day. What can anybody use N130 to buy? With N130 no inmate can come out of the prison better.”
He insisted that feeding of inmates is one area the committee wanted the ministry to introduce a major improvement saying “we want the inmate to come out better than they went in.”
He said that the committee is happy that the Federal Government is considering increasing thefeeding allowance to N450 per day.
He noted that though the N450 is still not enough, it is good enough to begin with.
Danbazau told the committee that the ministry is considering for the long run the revival of farm centre like fish pond, poultry and others which he said would help to feed the inmates.
The committee also queried the projection of N215 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for 2016 when the ministry generated N1.1726 billion in 2015.
On personnel cost, with the vote of N3,678, 178,610, the committee wanted to know whether the ministry wanted to employ new staff since it got N1,009,562, 803 in 2015.
The committee wanted to know what the ministry wanted to do with a variation between 2016-2015 of N2, 668,615,707.
On accommodation of Civil Defence operatives which a member of the committee, Senator Obinna Ogba, drew the attention of the minister to, Danbazau assured that the ministry would look into it.
Senator Ogba had complained bitterly that where the Civil Defence operatives are quartered in Ebonyi State is not befitting enough.