The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has called on state governments to build custodial centres to accommodate offenders of state laws currently in Federal facilities.
Aregbesola made the call when he inaugurated an office complex for the Nigeria Correctional Service in Avu, Owerri, on Friday.
The minister said with the removal of custodial centres from the exclusive list, states should invest in corrections, particularly rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates.
According to him, the complex would provide a good working environment for officers and men of the command which would in turn translate to greater national security.
He said the NCoS had in recent weeks inaugurated similar projects in Osun and Rivers with expectations that its six custodial villages, one in each geopolitical zones, would soon be completed.
Aregbesola thanked the president, Maj Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd) for his support and said the complex and other projects would help decongest existing correctional facilities in line with global standards.
“Each of the six custodial centres we are building will accommodate 3000 inmates, have five High Courts and several enterprise facilities for skill acquisition by inmates.”
In his remark, the Controller General of NCoS, Haliru Nababa, thanked the minister for his pragmatic leadership and support, adding that the complex would highly motivate the staff to produce excellent results.
“The importance of providing an appropriate and conducive working environment cannot be overemphasized as it is germane for excellent service delivery.
“I am fully confident that the service will witness additional output as a result of this upgrade in infrastructure and this is a step in the right direction “, he said.
Also, gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo, represented by his Deputy, Prof. Placid Njoku, thanked the Federal Government for the completion of the project.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Chief Judge of Imo, Justice Theresa Chikeka was represented by Justice Chinyere Okereke, while all Heads of agencies under the interior ministry in the state attended the event.
Awards of excellence were presented to Aregbesola and Nababa by the Imo chapter of the International Prison Chaplaincy Association of Nigeria. (NAN)