The Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbeaola thank President Muhammadu Buhari for taking special interest in the work of the Ministry Of Interior and for the full support he has given them, even in the midst of daunting financial challenges and competing national needs.
The speech delivered by the Minister of Interior goes thus.
The task of providing care and support to maladjusted persons, including profiling and treating them is quite enormous. Therefore, the need to provide a conducive atmosphere for the smooth running of our custodial centres cannot be overemphasized.
You will recall that one of the perennial challenges that has continued to bedevil the NCoS is the preponderance of awaiting trial persons as against convicts. Currently, about 70 per cent of the total inmates’ population are awaiting trial.
The implication of this scenario is huge logistics demand to convey the inmates to court as and when due.
Over time, the plight of pre-trial detainees, manifested in slow justice delivery which is sometimes due to the insufficiency of vehicles to cover court appearances.
Apart from this, other essential and routine services like taking inmates to the hospital during emergencies, sewage disposal, supply of potable water and so on require steady functional logistics which were grossly inadequate.
This unacceptable situation caught the attention of President Buhari whose change agenda is targeted at improving the quality of lives of all Nigerians, including the inmates. He graciously approved an increase in budgetary provision to the NCoS which has been sustained till date.
You will recall that in June last year, we were here for this same purpose and that we are here again is an indication of how well our stock has risen.
May I state that today’s event signposts government’s strong resolve to provide succour for those behind bars.
I must sincerely commend the officers and the management team of the NCoS for their dedication and commitment to duty, especially at this trying period of the fight against COVID-19 Pandemic.