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FG earmarks N3.5bn to purchase 320 Black Maria for 65,000 inmates

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

ABUJA—The Federal Government has given its nod for the purchase of 320 operational vehicles for the Nigeria Prisons Service, NPS.

This followed a memo presented by the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulraman Dambazzau (retd), to the Federal Executive Council, FEC.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, Dambaazzau, who was joined by Mnister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and his Petroleum Resources counterpart, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said the development was part of efforts to strengthen the criminal justice system in Nigeria.

He decried a situation where many prisons inmates and even the accused, had been incarcerated wrongly for lack of vehicles and other logistics to take them to court for fair hearing.

President Buhari
President Buhari

The minister further explained that about 65,000 prisoners, 70 percent of whom were awaiting trial, had suffered unjustly in detention for lack of vehicles to take them to about 5,022 courts in the country.

Dambaazzau, however, stated that the vehicles would be procured from local manufacturers.

He said: “In our effort to strengthen the criminal justice system and to also contribute towards decongesting the system, we presented a memo for the procurement of 320 operational vehicles for the prison service at the cost of N3.5 billion.

“This procurement is from local manufacturers, assemblies and vendors within Nigeria and the effort is to follow through government policy to ensure that most of the procurement of the equipment and such vehicles are done locally. That will also provide opportunity for job creation.”

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