Indications have emerged that the 65,000
inmates presently occupying the various prison facilities across the
nation are currently under the threat of starvation following the
non-payment outstanding obligation of ration and gas suppliers since
This threat is linked to federal
government’s refusal to remit payment of over N6 billion to the
contractors since 2015, 2016 and now.
The Nigeria Prison Service Ration and
Gas Contractors had in 2015 written to President Muhammadu Buhari,
demanding the payment of over N6 billion outstanding obligations.
The contractors had expressed fear that
if inmates of the nation’s prisons were not fed for two days, they could
go haywire and the consequences could be devastating to national
The contractors begged him to help them restore their integrity as they were being harassed by banks that gave them loans.
Confirming the development, one of the
suppliers, Hajia Maimunat Usman urged President Buhari to cause the
Ministry of Finance to release the money to the appropriate bodies for
disbursement to the suppliers.
The Prisons Service, though with huge
budget, is plagued with inadequate infrastructure, degrading facilities
and the failure and negligence of the appropriate authorities to pay the
contractors who have the mandate to provide food to prisoners.
Usman lamented that while the
contractors are still being owed 2015 and 2016 outstanding payments for
the supply of food to the prisons, several efforts to get the Ministry
of Finance to remit the outstanding payments have been futile.
According to her, while the prison
authorities had often gone the extra mile of using their personal
resources to assist some of the inmates, it behoves on the paying
authorities to do the needful