Udora Orizu in Abuja
The House of Representatives wednesday said it would step up its oversight functions as well as work effectively with the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) to ensure a comprehensive implementation of the Correctional Act, 2019, geared towards addressing the challenges confronting the service.
The Chairman, House Committee on Reformatory Institutions, Hon. Anayo Edwin, made this known while declaring open a three-day retreat for members of the Committee in Abuja, saying the improvement of NCS is crucial to character reformation and nation-building.
He said though the Correctional Act 2019 is designed to address the challenges confronting the NCS, there is 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.
The lawmaker lamented that the various correctional centres across the country are in a deplorable state, with facilities overstretched, adding 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.
According to it, “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 state that the problem of the Service is beyond adequate funding. It requires the determination of all stakeholders-the federal and state governments, the private sector, CSOs and the general public.
‘’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.’’