The Nigeria Prisons Service is set to commence free distribution of drugs and other medical supplies to no fewer than 65,000 inmates in its custody.
Controller General of the Nigeria Prisons Service NPS, Ja’afaru Ahmed, stated this Thursday in Abuja at the flag-off of the exercise.
He noted that; “The NPS is faced with a lot of challenges, including the lack of motivation on the part of personnel and various other problems that have confronted us and one of them is also the prisoners that are put under our care. We have not been able to provide for them in terms of their basic needs like medicare, blankets, beddings and even feeding”.
Vanguard checks revealed that for several years, most prisons had suffered scarcity of drugs, with prison warders and wardresses contributing their personal money to procure drugs for some of the inmates.
Ahmed said with the advent of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the fortunes of the service have been greatly enhanced, adding that the drugs would be appropriately distributed across the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory FCT.
“We have been able to intervene in the various challenges that have confronted us and if you travel across the prisons in the country, you will find one project or the other being put in place. We have been able to change the environment of some prisons entirely and provide logistics. We have been able also to do promotions and provide other welfare services for officers and men of the service.
“Today is important for many reasons for the fact that for the first time in many years we have been able to purchase drugs for the inmates of the prison service.
“The distribution of these drugs will be done in all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT but it will be distributed based on the number of inmates in each formation.
“While others have a very high number of inmates, some states have lesser numbers. For instance, Kaduna State as at Monday had 2,675 inmates and that is why they will be one of the states with the highest number of drugs,” he explained.