The National Youth Service Corps has complained that detainees at Nigerian Correctional Service institutions are fed better than corps members.
Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, the Director-General of the NYSC, disclosed this when he appeared before the House Committee on Youth Development for budget defense on Wednesday, saying corps members were provided a dinner costing N217.
As a result, he encouraged the House of Representatives to increase the funding for feeding in the scheme’s budget for 2022.
On October 27, 2021, the Senate Committee on Interior enhanced the Nigerian Correctional Service’s daily meal allocation from N450 per person to a minimum of N1,000 per day.
Officials of the NCS were in the Senate to defend the 2022 budget of the Service, where they proposed an increment of the daily feeding allowance to N750.
The committee, however, described the amount as grossly inadequate and increased it in line with the current economic realities, pledging to undertake an upward review of inmates’ feeding cost from N450 to N1000 per day.
In his presentation, Ibrahim, who noted that it was his first ritual of presentation of the budget to the committee, said the budget of the NYSC remained the same over the years.
The DG said,
“The only thing that I will tell you here is that sometimes last year, I promised the committee at the NYSC, we are putting on our thinking cap, that I don’t want us to always go cap in hand begging for funds so that, at least, we should do something to bring revenue to the table. This I did last year and we generated over N280m which we paid into the Federation Account.
Ibrahim continued, “Our challenge is in the area of feeding. The budgetary approval for feeding per corps member is N650, which is grossly inadequate. By the time you divide it by three meals (per day), that is N216 per meal. So, we are appealing to this committee to please help us out.
“Even recently, at the Ministry of Interior, the feeding of prisoners was increased to N1,000. So, if we can feed criminals with N1,000, our graduates are putting their lives in the service of our country…I pray that this committee should please do something about it.”