FG grants waiver to prison inmates with less than N1m fine

The Federal Government is seeking a waiver for inmates across the nations’s correctional facilities with fines less than N1 million.

According to Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, at least 5,000 people are still in prison custody due to their inability to pay fines.

The minister while commissioning a 20-bed space medical facility at the Port Harcourt custodial centre asked governors to grant waivers to inmates in that situation.

“Last year, we requested for details of persons with fines or such financial orders of less than N1,000,000 that are still in our facilities and we got about five million,

“In January, I wrote specifically to all governors to sensitise them on the need to waive these fines so as to take those Nigerians away from the custodial centres,” he said.

The development followed plans by the FG to spend N22.44 billion to feed prison inmates in 2023, as a part of the reform of correctional facilities in Nigeria.

The fund is 1 per cent of the 2023 budget which is N21.83 trillion earmarked by the federal government.

In 2021, lawmakers had approved the increase of inmate’s daily allowance from N450 per person to a minimum of N1000 per day, based on the nation’s economic situation.

In 2022, the correctional service authorities decried the pressure of maintaining its facilities across the country due to the increase of inmates in its custody.

Its leadership disclosed in the same year that nearly 75 per cent of inmates were awaiting trial.