Saturday, 9th December 2023

Nigerian Corrections refutes allegation of staff borrowing money from inmates

By Tina Abeku, Abuja
17 July 2023   |   1:15 pm
Management of the Nigerian Correctional Service, (NCoS), has said that no personnel of the agency has borrowed money from inmates under any circumstances.

NCS CG Haliru Nababa

Management of the Nigerian Correctional Service, (NCoS), has said that no personnel of the agency has borrowed money from inmates under any circumstances.

Reacting to online media reports that personnel of the service have resorted to borrowing from inmates to survive due to poor salary and poor welfare, the Service said it remains one of the leading paramilitary agency that gives priority to staff welfare.

Responding to query from The Guardian on the allegation, Public Relations Officer, (PRO), Abubakar Umar said that insinuations that officers and men of the Nigerian Correctional Service are paid less than their counterparts in other paramilitary services in the ministry of Interior is totally false and misleading

He pointed that the agency has continued to pursue issues welfare packages aimed at boosting staff moral through its staff cooperative and staff housing packages among others.

“Without being immodest, evidence of significant projects aimed at improving the welfare of staff by the Controller General since his assumption of office abound.

“To the best of my knowledge, the allegation that personnel collect loans from inmates is not true as personnel have more credible sources of obtaining loan facilities,” he said.

Umar explained that it is too cheap of any officer to allege that staff are now taking loans from inmates to survive because “As a matter of fact, the Service runs a Microfinance Bank, which provides soft loans and financial services for staff to meet personal and family needs.

“This is in addition to the drive of the Controller General, Haliru Baba to shore up barracks accommodation through the construction of new barracks structures as well as reconstruction of dilapidated ones at the national headquarters and several other commands.”

According to him, “Ordinarily, the Service would not have wasted time and resources joining issues with those behind the puerile and uninformed accusation, whose intent is to distract it from the current reforms and transformations being embarked upon by the leadership of the Controller General, Haliru Nababa however, it is important to set records straight and clear whatever doubts the malicious report would have created.

“Firstly, it should be noted that salaries of officers and men of the NCoS are fixed by the Revenue Mobilisation; the Salaries and Wages Commission, just as you have in other government establishments and, indeed, other paramilitary services in the Federal Ministry of Interior.

“It is therefore, ridiculous to say that staff of the NCoS receive less than their counterparts in other services in the Ministry of Interior. Secondly, the infantile authors should know that salaries are paid directly to beneficiaries’ accounts. Therefore, no Chief Executive, including the Controller General, has access to staff salaries least to imagine deduction from same.

Umar said that it is also on record that the Correction Welfare Insurance Scheme (CWIS) has continued to provide succour and soft-landing to staff that sustained injury or paid the ultimate prize while on the line ofduty.

He adds that, “8The Controller General, through the Corrections Corporative Society (COCOS), has floated a mass housing programme for personnel of the Service, which will see staff own their own houses in any location of their choice in Nigeria. Currently, construction of housing estates under the programme has commenced in Kuje and KYC estates in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Abuja In addition to constructed and renovated office buildings in various state commands.

“Significant logistical support has been provided to promote efficiency among the personnel, Including operational vehicles recently distributed to all Armed Squad Commanders in all state commands to boost rapid response in and around our facilities nationwide as well as the CG’specisl end of year award to staff that distinguish themselves in their assignments,” he said

The spokesman urged the public to disregard the reports describing it as “malicious and a mere figment of the author’s imagination.”