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2022 Budget: Reps direct inclusion of Correctional Centres’ upgrade

The House of Representatives on Thursday mandated the Committee on Appropriations to include the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Correctional Centres in the 2022 budget estimates.

It also urged the Federal Government to rehabilitate and upgrade the Correctional Centres with the latest and sophisticated arms such as GPMG and automatic machine guns and latest security electric fence wires attached with shocking gadgets and highly sophisticated CCTV Cameras.

The House further urged the Federal Government to take over the payment of electricity bills of the Correctional Centres in Nigeria or exempt the Centres from paying electricity bills.

The resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion on: “Need to Upgrade Correctional Centres in Nigeria” sponsored by Muhammed-Gudaji Kazaure (APC, Jigawa) at plenary.

Moving the motion, Kazaure said there were recent cases of jailbreaks across the country which destroyed Correctional Centres and their
security systems.

He noted that Correctional Centres are where convicted criminals are kept to make society safe, thus it is dangerous for such convicts to be let loose.

The lawmaker expressed concern that “if adequate steps are not taken to re-arrest the escaped convicts and provide adequate security in Correctional Centres, some of the criminals who escaped may become more emboldened to the point of forming terrorist groups that would put the country in jeopardy.”

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On the other hand, the House passed a motion on the urgent need to address the rising spate of suicide cases in Nigeria, sponsored by Gaza Gbefwi from Nasarawa State, urgibg the Federal Ministry of Health to come up with a national strategy to address mental problems in Nigeria.

It resolved to set up an Ad-hoc Committee to review extant mental health laws to provide for proper care of affected persons in Nigeria and expedite action on measures aimed at protecting the rights of persons with a
mental disorder, ensure equal access to treatment and care, discourage stigma and discrimination and set standards for psychiatric practice in Nigeria.

Presenting the motion, Gbefwi said the prevalence of suicide cases in Nigeria, especially among youths between the ages of 15-29 years showed that one-fifth of suicide cases are of persons aged 13-19 years and over 50% of the crisis calls received through hotlines are from youth aged 13-29 and 27.8% of them are students.

He said: “The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), suicides and attempted suicide cases recorded in the 36 states of the Federation, including the FCT, were 333 and 196 respectively as of 2017, while other reports show that about 80 persons ended their lives between April 8, 2017, and May 12, 2019.

“Socio-economic factors contribute largely to mental illness such as depression, anxiety disorders etc, which are on the increase and are the leading causes of suicide in Nigeria.”

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