The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Prison Service, CGP, Ja’afaru Ahmed, has disclosed that over 11,000 officers have been promoted as part of efforts to boost the morale of the rank and file.
Mr. Ahmed who received an Award of Icon of Crisis Management in Nigeria from the Centre of Crisis Communication, stated this at a workshop on Information Management for Command Officers and Public Relations Officers of the Nigerian Prisons Service holding in Kaduna.
“I am glad to disclose that the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) has promoted over 11,000 Personnel to boost staff morale and their productivity. We have also compiled the list of qualified officers for the next promotion exercise which is coming out soon,” he said.
He noted that the federal government has included in next year’s budget the plan to recruit 6,000 officers and men to boost the capacity of the service in achieving its statutory mandates. If the budget is approved, he said, it would further enhance several deliverables both on the part of inmates and the staff in general.
He said the goal of the Nigerian Prisons Service under his leadership is to have a system that provides conditions of imprisonment above the minimum standard prescribed by the United Nations, stating that recent developments attest to this drive.
He revealed that with the active support of the Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Dambazau, the federal government approved an upward review of budget allocation to address the myriads of challenges bedevilling the service.
According to him, this singular approach coupled with prudent management of resources has changed the face of the Nigerian Prisons Service to the admiration of all and sundry.
He commended the genuine effort of some Command Officers and their Public Relations Officers that have given copious press coverage of the progress being made to communicate the federal government’s practical effort to improve the conditions of prisons in Nigeria.
“It is relevant to state that within two years of my stewardship as the Controller-General of Prisons, we have taken active steps to provide operational vehicles in order to improve access to justice for those awaiting trial; significantly improved on the quality of prison cells by renovating old ones and constructing new ones where space allows; embarked on office and barrack renovations; procured large quantity of assorted drugs, the type the Service has not had in a long while, and distributed them to prison formations and also purchased sundry items to make life better for the inmates. The ailing farm centres are also being revived through procurement of machineries to improve inmates’ training and increase productivity”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Centre for Crisis Communication, Yusuf Anas, who bestowed an award of Icon of Crisis Management in Nigeria to Ahmad Jaafaru has called for the speedy passage of a bill on prison reforms that is pending at the National Assembly. The passage will enable all the key stakeholders to pragmatically and comprehensively bring the NPS in line with international standards.
He said: “The bill would establish a Correction, Reformation and Integration Centre to provide supports to persons in the area of reformation and youthful offenders and other related matters. The law will improve the general welfare of prison inmates by providing for educational and vocational training to inmates to discourage them from relapsing into crime. It seeks to increase public participation in the administration of prison service by encouraging the public to bring complaints and recommendations on matters related to inmate welfare to the prison service.”
Mr. Yusuf commended the Comptroller General of Prison for organising an annual capacity building programme on Crisis Management for State Controllers of Prison and their public relations officers.
He said: “Apart from organising training programmes, the Prisons Boss has enhanced the image of the service through exemplary leadership qualities and delegations of responsibilities, especially in the areas of Crisis management.”