Cabinet approves N483m for vehicles for Immigration Service

Timothy Choji, Abuja

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The Federal Executive Council has approved the sum of four hundred and eighty three million naira for the purchase of operational vehicles for the country’s immigration service.

Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau revealed this to Journalists at the end of Wednesday’s meeting of the cabinet, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Interior Minister said the operational vehicles to be purchased for the immigration service, worth over four hundred million naira are in two categories.

“There are two sets of vehicles the cost per unit for one of them is about N14 million while the other one’s cost per unit is about N8 million. They are operational vehicles for the use of the Assistant Comptroller Generals and the Comptroller General of the service, all for border security. All in all we are purchasing 35 vehicles and the total cost is N483. 210 million,” he said.

Giving a rundown of approvals and activities of the ministry in the past two and half years, the Minister said 17 memos were approved by FEC for the Interior ministry for various procurements.

He said a policy on the strategy for handling prisons decongestion and rehabilitation was also approved in order to improve facilities in Prisons across the country.

“Today I was given the opportunity to tell the Council the status of implementation of the Federal Executive Council‘s approvals for my Ministry between May 2015 to date. I got approval for 17 memos for the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigerian Prisons service and Federal Fire Service. Those memos were for the purchase of operational vehicles for the services and policy issues. Most of these approved memos have been implemented 100% particularly those involving procurement,” he stated.

Prisons Decongestion

He also gave good news for prisoners on death roll, lifers, and the aged.

“The federal government under this same period under review looked at ways in which it can partner with the States in decongesting our prisons, including the rehabilitation of prisons. About 70% of the inmates are those awaiting trial so the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with the Nigerian Prisons Service and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation have looked at how best we can implement the strategy that has been put in place for prisons decongestion and one of the things we are looking at is those prisoners who have been condemned to death, we have over 2000 of such and the Governors do not want to sign their death warrant so part of the strategy approved is for any of such prisoners who has spent up to 10 years in prison, should be commuted to life imprisonment and any prisoner who has been a lifer and has spent up to 10 years and above and has good conduct and depending on the recommendation, he could be released. While those who are very advance in age, because we have prisoners who are up to 80 years old, such prisoners could be released as well as those who have minor fines of N20,000 or less,  when such fines are paid, should also be freed because you spend a lot of money  in taking care of them,” he said.

The Minister said these steps taken by government would help the country to meet minimum international standards of prisons.

Communications

On his part, Communications Minister, Mr Adebayo Shiittu who also gave an account of activities of his ministry, said three projects and policies were approved for his ministry between May 2015 and February 2018.

Shittu said radio monitoring communications projects to check illegal radio broadcast were approved for the ministry, adding that the projects have reached 63% completion.

He also said the crisis between the Ministry of Communications and that of Science and Technology on who supervises certain agencies within the ICT sector but that was resolved in our favour.

Nnenna.O