In October 2021, the Senate Committee on Interior approved the increase of the daily feeding allowance of the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, from N450 per inmate to a minimum of N1, 000 per day. NCS officials who were at the Senate to defend their 2022 budget had proposed N750 but members of the committee who described the amount as grossly inadequate jerked it up to N1, 000 in line with the current economic reality.
When the announcement of the increase was officially made by the Comptroller of NCS, most of the inmates in prisons across the country were ecstatic believing that their daily feeding portion would automatically increase. Seven months down the line, Encounter’s investigation revealed that the feeding portion of inmates has remained the same despite the purported increase by the government.
Inmates narrate experience
Akoni (not real name) who is an awaiting trial inmate and has been in the Kirikiri Custodial Facility since 2019, said the beans served every morning usually made him stool for months until he got used to it. Akoni said he was one of those inmates who were excited over the announcement of N1000 feeding allowance for inmates but has since concluded that it was just a ruse by government since the meals in the prison still remain poor and horrible.
Daily rations Former Resident Pastor of Kirikiri Prison, David Godfrey who spent 14 years in the facility and was released late last year, also shared his experience with regards to feeding in the prisons. He said: “Our prison feeding pattern is regimented. We eat three times a day but even a hungry dog will reject the food they serve us. Our only saving grace is that some of us were allowed to cook to supplement the small ration we are given. Usually, the prison meals are not for everybody because some of us have stoves and pots with which we cook inside the cell. If inmates depended solely on the prison meals, I can assure you that the death rate in the prison will be very high because of malnutrition.