Federal Government eyes $4bn Chinese oil investment, approves N3.5bn for prisons vehicles
Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, who gave the indication after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, said the development followed the July road show in China where Nigeria signed a $75.6 billion Memorandum of Understanding for investment in the oil sector.
“We are also setting up a full inter-ministerial panel that will be deliberating with them for each of those sectorial investments,” he added.The Council also approved a memo presented by the Ministry of Interior for the purchase of 320 operational vehicles for the Nigerian Prison Service at a cost of N3.5 billion.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Council’s meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazzau, said procurement would be made from local vendors, under the Federal Government’s policy, which seeks to encourage local firms and boost job opportunities.
He said: “For a very long time, the prison system has suffered lack of operational vehicles. And as such, quite a number of prisoners remain in prisons longer than necessary, because they do not have the opportunity to be conveyed to courts. This is the essence.”
He added: “The prison population, as at today, stands at about 65,000. Of this, about 70 per cent are awaiting trial. And part of the problem is lack of logistics, because there are 5,022 courts that on daily basis you have to transport prisoners to.”The minister explained that the sum was inclusive of funds for maintenance of the vehicles.