Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has restated its commitment to the improvement of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), saying it is crucial to character reformation and nation-building generally.
The House said it will step up its oversight functions, as well as work effectively with the NCS to ensure a comprehensive implementation of the Correctional Act, 2019, which is geared towards addressing the challenges confronting the service.
The chairman, House Committee on Reformatory Institutions, Anayo Edwin, stated this while declaring open a 3-day retreat for members of the Committee, on Wednesday, in Abuja.
Edwin pointed out that the various correctional centres across the country are in a deplorable state, with facilities overstretched.
He added that though the Correctional Act 2019 is designed to address the challenges confronting the NCS, there is the need for all the stakeholders, including the federal and state governments, the private sector and the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to work together towards improving the NCS.
‘You are aware that the conditions of the Nigerian correctional centres are indeed degrading. It is said that the wealth of a nation is viewed from the state of its correctional facilities. Nigeria, in this case, would be adjudged poorly; various issues, challenges and controversies over the state of these facilities are increasing and require immediate attention.
‘The Correctional Act, 2019 made provisions to eliminate these issues, but I dare say, that the problem of the Service is beyond adequate funding. It requires the determination of all stakeholders – the Federal government, state governments, the private sector, CSOs and the general public,’ the lawmaker stated.
Edwin added that desire of the ninth House under the leadership of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, is for the country to have a world-class correctional service, hence the creation of the Committee on Reformatory Institutions to respond to issues in the NCS effectively.
He explained that the retreat is, therefore, designed to enable the Committee fashion out a strategic plan that will aid it in the actualisation of its objectives.