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FG spends more on Feeding Security Dogs than Inmates- Senate Committee

In the wake of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s unveiling of the 2024 budget, a wave of scrutiny and debate has swept across the nation, igniting discussions, objections, and inquiries into the allocations earmarked for various sectors.

 The spotlight has particularly intensified on the proposed budget to renovate the Vice President’s residences and the allocated funds for the office of the Chief of Staff. 

However, divergent perspectives and probing questions have emerged, casting a compelling spotlight on the government’s fiscal priorities and expenditure strategies.

In a new development, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, leading the committee scrutinizing the Nigeria Correctional Service’s budget, inquired about the cost of food provisions for prisoners compared to expenses for feeding security dogs.

He emphasized the significance of this inquiry, highlighting that many individuals in Nigerian prisons may be innocently detained due to the actions of influential individuals. 

Oshiomhole said, “This is a very important assignment. A lot of Nigerians under your care are innocent. They are in prisons courtesy of big men and women who want to teach them a lesson. Many of them are there for an offence they know nothing about. However, the system has put them under your care.

Oshiomhole stressed the importance of correctional facilities focusing on rehabilitation rather than dehumanization, citing the potential psychological toll long-term incarceration might have, using the Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela’s case, as an example.

He expressed concern over the disparity in feeding budgets, noting that non-convicted individuals receive a daily feeding budget of N750. At the same time, the dogs under the NCS care are allocated N800 per day.

This led to a discussion on allocating government funds for feeding animals versus humans.

The Controller General (CG) mentioned the budget of N751 per day per inmate for meals, which would decrease to N720 after tax deductions.

The joint panel requested a breakdown of the menu provided to prisoners for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The CG and team confirmed having the menu charts detailing food quantities and ingredients needed, but they were not present then.

Considering market prices, Oshiomhole expressed skepticism about how the NCS would adequately feed inmates with limited funding.

 

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